Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
Resources for Teaching About Ferguson
Many faculty members discuss current events in our classes in order to connect our curriculum to the “real world.” I teach US History, and connecting the past to the present is an essential skill for my students. As we begin the last week of the term, our students are likely thinking about the recent events in Ferguson, and trying to make sense of them. Here are a few resources to help us as teachers facilitate these conversations with our students and help them understand the social and historical context of Ferguson.
This article by Marcia Chatelain, Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown, discusses the motivation behind #FergusonSyllabus, and lists the resources that were collected from teachers around the country for lessons, books, songs, and assignments around Ferguson, civil rights, African American history, community organizing, and policing. In this article Chatelain recommends that instructors at the college level “focus on the structural problems Ferguson brings to the forefront.”
This post from The Root advises teachers not to ignore the issue, to give ourselves time to process before engaging students, to acknowledge the role that race and racism in this situation, and to ask students what they want to know and want to discuss.
This post from Clarence Lang, Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas, provides historical context for the events in Ferguson and the media narrative surrounding them.
This post from the CUNY Graduate Center gives some discipline-specific ideas for discussing Ferguson.
This website includes ideas for lessons on police brutality, the history of racism, international human rights, and housing inequality, among others.
This is only small sample of resources available. There will be additional opportunities for faculty to discuss how to teach about Ferguson on each campus. Stay tuned for more information, and please contact me if you have any questions or are interested in additional resources.
Update: This Chronicle of Higher Education blog post A Year of Racial Tumult Brings Potent Lessons – and Risks – to the Classroom discusses many teaching strategies that faculty have used over the past year to discuss Ferguson and related events.