Dr. Brasof Offers New Teaching Model for Social Studies in Recent Article

By Caitlin Burns | October 4, 2016

Dr. Marc Brasof, assistant professor of Education, recently published “An Abolition Framework: Debating Slavery by Moving Beyond the Question of Race” in the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies’ Social Studies Journal.

In his article, Dr. Brasof offers a new method for teaching students about slavery, such as students roleplaying significant actors throughout history to debate primary and secondary sources in favor or against slavery. This debate encourages a more thorough understanding of not just racial issues of slavery, but its impact on the economy and environment as well.

Dr. Brasof notes that when students identify sociocultural markers they can remove emotion from the discussion, in order to understand the complexity of the situation.

“I think what so many people miss in today’s discussion about social and political movements for the improvement of black lives is the ways these movements operate – why they succeed or fail,” Dr. Brasof said. “Too often the study of slavery in schools focuses on the brutality of the system rather than trying to understand how alliances coalesce and splinter. Thus, young people emerge from school knowing very little about the forces and behaviors that actually institutionalize racism, how to fight them, and why change takes so long.”