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Publisher Description

Most history teachers have experienced something like this at least once in their careers: The lecture or assignment bombs, not because we are unprepared or we have pushed our students too far, but because the topics we explore are simply too removed from the daily experiences of our students to have any real meaning. The subjects of our explorations are, therefore, almost unbelievable to the students. They simply shut down, or they become apathetic or alienated. (1) As a labor historian who has taught at both large universities and small colleges in the South during my brief career, I occasionally have experienced this phenomenon when I discuss the rise of the industrial union movement in the wake of the Great Depression. This period typically occupies a key point in the American and African American history surveys that I have taught over the years. Yet, because the labor movement that rose in the wake of the Great Depression has been in steep decline for decades, most of today's students have little knowledge or understanding of unions or their important role in American history. Often, when I ask students if they have relatives in unions, for example, less than a handful of the 35 or 40 students in the class will raise their hands. Sometimes students who have relatives, even parents who are members of unions, are unaware of the ways that the labor movement has touched their lives.

Professional & Technical
March 22
Emporia State University
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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