Register Here

This course will meet online with both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. We will consider an optional in-person trip to the Rokeby Underground Railroad site in Ferrisburgh, VT, if enough participants feel comfortable and able to do this.

Registration Fee: $975 (includes 3 graduate credits from Castleton University); $500 without graduate credit

Dates and Times:

  • June 23, 25, 28, 30, 4:00 – 6:00 pm Primary Source Workshops
  • July 22 – August 6 Asynchronous discussions and office hour meetings
  • August 5, 4:00 – 6:00 pm Critical Friends Lesson Discussion
  • August 15 Final Project Due

Course Goals:

  1. To use nearby history to prompt discussions about race and identity in our own communities.
  2. To learn key concepts for teaching the hard history of slavery, racism, and white supremacy.
  3. To develop supportive discussion protocols for conversations about race and identity.

Course Objectives:

  • Use history to prompt meaningful discussions about race and racism with students.
  • Learn how to have courageous conversations about race.
  • Consider how to help students become empathetic leaders and agents of change.

Required Readings/Texts: (Flow of History provides all reading materials)


  1. Actively participates in all sessions (20%)
  2. Prepares draft classroom project for critical friends session. (40%)
  3. Final Assignment. (40%)

Class Schedule:

Session 1 [June 23]:

The Problem of Slavery in Early Vermont: Presentation and discussion with Harvey Amani Whitfield, Professor of History, University of Vermont

Key Concept: Slavery existed in the North and was central to the development and growth of the northern economies.


Session 2 [June 25]:

The Business of Slavery in the North: Primary Source Workshop

Key Concept: Slavery and the slave trade were central to the development and growth of the economy across British North America and, later, the United States.


Session 3 [June 28]: Abolition, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad: Primary Source Workshop

Key Concept: Enslaved people were human beings with inspirations, dreams, fears, and families. They resisted their enslavement in small and large ways


Session 4 [June 30]: Legacies of Slavery: Living in a Structurally Racist Society

Key Concept: Systemic racism is a foundation of American society. Throughout history Black Vermonters have faced bias and discrimination, and this is still true today.


Session 5 [August 5]: Critical Friends Lesson Discussion

Final Assignment:

  • Consider the goals of the course and write a 2 to 3-page reflection that discusses how ideas, activities, and/or resources from the course will impact your classroom practice. What might you try to change or do in the coming year and why?
  • Create a historical inquiry that leads students from investigation of primary sources to brainstorming ways to take informed action. The inquiry should include historical sources with guiding questions that help students connect the history to contemporary issues of race and identity. See rubric at end of this document. You can adapt materials from the Flow of History website or use primary sources from other resources. You can use this lesson form or a format your district requires.