Labor union teaching labor history to teachers

Historians in the News

Kate Mullany is more than a 19th-century labor pioneer for Celine Casey's students. She's a neighbor. "I teach at School 14 in Troy and my kids could walk to the Kate Mullany historic site," said Casey, a K-1 remediation teacher and Troy Teachers Association member. "I'd love to incorporate information about her into my curriculum."

Casey attended the Teaching Labor History Symposium at NYSUT headquarters in May. The day-long forum helped teachers better incorporate labor lessons into their curriculum.

"There's a lot of misunderstanding about what labor unions do," said Paul Cole, director of the American Labor Studies Center, which organized the event. Cole is a retired secretary-treasurer for the New York State AFL-CIO and a former NYSUT director.

He discussed the ALSC Web site. "Our resources include labor history-based lesson plans, labor leader biographies, an interactive labor history timeline and photos and labor songs," Cole said, explaining that the materials are designed to help educators meet state standards.

From Mullany to child labor

Participants used a play based on events in Mullany's life and two lesson plans to help K-12 students learn about the 19th century organizer of the Collar Laundry Union in Troy, the nation's first all-woman labor union.

"The play, in particular, is effective," said Schoharie Central School TA member Debbie Schaffer, a fifth-grade teacher....

Read entire article at http://www.nysut.org

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