WW HistoryQuest Fellows Get Lesson in Hard History from Hasan Kwame Jeffries

The WW HistoryQuest Fellows recently got a lesson in teaching hard history from Hasan Kwame Jeffries. Dr. Jeffries is an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University. His teaching and his research focus on African-American history in the U.S., including courses on the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements.

As a teacher and scholar, Dr. Jeffries looks to open people’s minds to “new ways of understanding the past and the present” by confronting the hard truths present in our history. In his TEDx talk last year, Dr. Jeffries talked about the need for historical context in understanding our society and in our solutions to inequality. See the full TED talk in the video here.

Much of Dr. Jeffries’ work aims to push not only his students, but also K–12 history teachers and the general public to embrace the lessons of “hard history” and make sure they’re a part of everyone’s knowledge base. For the recent session with the HistoryQuest Fellows, Dr. Jeffries suggested some action steps for teachers to incorporate these perspectives and related material into their teaching. One of those steps was using his seven principles for teaching race and racism, as seen in the video above. He also took some time to answer questions from the Fellows.

“When you think about your projects and the ways in which they may intersect with race, you absolutely have to also think about the ways in which it may help students see structures—see beyond individual personal prejudice and behaviors to the way systems operate on people,” said Dr. Jeffries during his talk.

The WW HistoryQuest Fellowship offers professional development for middle and high school American history teachers. The program aims to use the power of games, play, and digital tools to transform both teacher practice and student engagement.


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