About the Organization
MissionCarolina K-12 is a program of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Public Humanities offering free, high-quality professional development programs for North Carolina teachers. Each program includes presentations by top scholars, innovative lesson plans, pedagogical training, and immersive experiences.
Carolina K-12 supports K-12 educators in each of NC's 100 counties by:
•Deepening teacher content knowledge of diverse topics through exchanges with university scholars, authors, historians, artists, performers, and other humanities professionals at free workshops and retreats
•Exploring innovative teaching strategies through pedagogical training
•Offering ready-to-implement, effective and engaging culturally-responsive curriculum materials
•Affirming a strong appreciation for the difficult work of teachers and the challenges they
Carolina K-12’s “Teaching Hard History” Initiative
America has a complicated past, with racial inequality being at the heart of much of the nation’s “hard history,” from the enslavement of millions of black people, to racial subordination & violence. And while individuals & groups have resisted & challenged racist systems throughout history & into the present, a legacy of inequality persists – the realities of which are often avoided in the K-12 classroom. Carolina K-12 believes that it is essential that teachers learn, discuss & responsibly teach about our “hard history” to ensure students understand the implications of our past & are empowered to address the challenges of the present. Thus, in 2019, we launched our “Teaching Hard History” initiative in which 8-12th grade teachers from all around the state participate in workshops that provide a mixture of historical content, pedagogical skills & protective measures to employ when addressing “hard history” & controversial current events.
Since race (though often ignored in K-12 curriculums) is central to exploring American history, culture, and modern issues, a major component of this initiative is to specifically provide time for teachers explore the complicated subjects of identity, race, racism, and white advantage – as well as the ways these topics intersect with the history of inequity in education. Teachers then leave with specific skills for also leading conversations about these issues with their middle and high school students. In a time when everything, from discussions of our past to debates of our present, feels particularly fraught with discomfort & controversy, attending educators are provided with the critical opportunity to explore their challenges (& even fears) of teaching in today’s polarized classrooms.
“Teaching Hard History” events range from after school workshops to three-day intensive events. Events are open to middle and high school teachers all around the state and are helpful in various locations around the state. Events are provided free of charge, with materials, meals, hotel accommodations, and substitute reimbursement provided.