Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
This thesis is a close reading of Civil War pedagogy in Alabama and Virginia with special attention given to Black history during the Civil War era. Through an examination of Civil War history, it is evident that slavery was the main cause of the War. The development of the Lost Cause narrative, a reaction to Blacks gaining Civil Rights that aimed to prove the Confederate war effort was honorable, is still promoted in southern schools. Alabama and Virginia both provide state standards, outlines of the minimum required knowledge to be obtained on a given subject by the end of the academic year. They also supply curriculum frameworks, supposedly more detailed breakdowns of the information provided in the standards that localities can use as examples when developing their curriculum guides. The close-reading of these materials revealed that both Alabama and Virginia provide broad standards, allowing for excessive leeway in the classroom. Virginia’s curriculum frameworks are more effective than Alabama’s at providing the necessary specificity to reduce the promulgation of the Lost Cause narrative. However, Critical Race Theory bans in both states threaten to worsen the inclusion of Black history in their standards, especially material centered around the Civil War era.
Hill, Michaela, "The Journey of Unlearning: A Close Reading of Civil War Pedagogy in Alabama and Virginia" (2022). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1787.