Teaching Hard History Professional Development
Bookmarked 3 times

Professional Development Resources for Educators

Our professional development resources can help educators who are learning more about American slavery so they can teach their students. These resources include information and techniques from scholars and educators available through videos, podcasts, webinars and articles.



Podcast and Videos

Teaching Hard History: American Slavery Podcast

What we don’t know about American slavery hurts us all. From Learning for Justice and host Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Teaching Hard History: American Slavery brings us the lessons we should have learned in school through the voices of leading scholars and educators. It’s good advice for teachers and good information for everybody.

The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors

In this short film, scholars and historians introduce students to the history of Indigenous enslavement in what is now the United States. Affecting up to 5 million people, Indigenous enslavement stretched from coast to coast and lasted well into the 19th century. In tracing this history and its legacy, The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors also centers the experiences, cultures and contributions of Indigenous people today.

Key Concept Videos

In these videos, scholars and historians explore the Key Concepts of the Teaching Hard History framework by discussing slavery’s impact on the lives of enslaved people in what is now the United States and the nation’s development around the institution. They also explain how enslaved people influenced the nation, its culture and its history.


Teaching Hard History in Grades K-5

Participants will learn how our elementary framework centers the stories of enslaved people to teach the history of American slavery in a way that is both age-appropriate and accessible. They will also gain strategies for teaching about topics like freedom, race, enslavement and resistance while avoiding common pitfalls.

Teaching Hard History: American Slavery 

Participants of this webinar will hear from historian Hasan Kwame Jeffries about why we must teach about American slavery honestly and comprehensively. Participants will also test their knowledge of this critical topic with a quiz, as well as interact with Learning for Justice’s collection of resources designed to help educators overcome the shortcomings of textbooks and state standards in teaching this hard history.

Teaching Hard History: Building Better Lessons About Slavery (Grades 6-12)

Participants will learn about new and existing curricular materials, become familiar with our text library and how it aligns to the framework, and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to create custom learning plans for use in the classroom. You’ll also dig into the essential question “How does enslavement affect the idea of family?”


Teaching America’s Interwoven Histories

The shared history of African Americans and Indigenous Americans is rarely taught. TT talked to Professor Tiya Miles about why we can’t understand American history without it.

Ned Blackhawk Q&A: Understanding Indigenous Enslavement

Historian Ned Blackhawk explains why we must understand Indigenous enslavement to fully understand American history.

Teaching Hard History From the Beginning

Children should learn about American slavery starting in kindergarten—and starting with Indigenous enslavement.

The Courage to Teach Hard History

The central role that slavery played in the development of the United States is beyond dispute. Yet, the practices of teaching and learning about this fact remain woefully inadequate. Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries introduces Teaching Hard History: American Slavery, which can help change that.

“All Our Terrible and Beautiful History”: Teach American History as a Human Story

Professor David W. Blight, director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, explains why prevailing American historical narratives necessitate Learning for Justice's Teaching Hard History report and recommendations.

What Learning About Slavery Can Teach Us About Ourselves

We are a product of our history—even the history we don’t like to think about.

Teaching Hard History

Four innovative educators discuss how they teach about our country's painful past.

“We Are Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams”

As part of our series highlighting educator voices, we spoke to five black teachers who teach in predominately black or all-black settings to ask how they approach the topic of slavery.

Lies My Bookshelf Told Me

Children’s books are a common way to introduce the topic of slavery to our youngest students. But what do we do when the stories get it wrong?

Bearing Witness to the Hard History of Guilford

The legacy of slavery isn’t limited to the South.

Preserving a More Honest History

Taking a field trip to a historic site? Here’s how to choose one that honors the enslaved people who lived and worked there.

Another Slavery Simulation: We Can and Must Do Better

A simulation of an auction during a fifth-grade lesson about slavery last week is just the latest illustration of why we need better ways to teach hard history.

We Rest Our Case: American Slavery Is Widely Mistaught

After hearing from skeptics about our Teaching Hard History report findings, TT Director Maureen Costello came across striking new evidence that the project is necessary.


Return to Project Overview