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K-State Today

December 10, 2012



Wood publishes article linking teaching, community research

By Spencer Wood

Spencer Wood, interim head of American ethnic studies and assistant professor of sociology, and Ricardo Samuel, Berlin, published their article, "History As Community-Based Research and the Pedagogy Of Discovery: Teaching Racial Inequality, Documenting Local History, and Building Links Between Students and Communities in Mississippi and Tennessee," in the November issue of the Journal of Rural Social Science

The article describes and analyzes a project that links teaching about racial inequality with the process of conducting community research. In the project, Wood and Samuel took a group of students to Mississippi and Tennessee to conduct research around community involvement and memories of the civil rights movement. The research revealed some previously unknown stories about important civil rights events such as Emmett Till's murder and the very local struggle for full citizenship in rural Mississippi towns. Students were exposed to many facets of field research and embarked on their own learning through guided discoveries and analysis of important historical events and material.