Lesson Plan

Historical Detective: Edward Alexander Bouchet and the Washington-Du Bois Debate over African-American Education

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Young scientists meet Edward Alexander Bouchet who, in 1876, was the first African American to receive a PhD in Physics. This two-part lesson first looks at the debate between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois about the type of education they felt should be offered to African Americans, one that emphasizes practical skills or a classical education. Part two of the lesson asks young historians to use what they have learned to theorize which approach to education for African Americans Bouchet would have supported.

4 Views 1 Download
CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members investigate course offerings at their school, including whether or not any industrial education classes are offered
Classroom Considerations
  • A free account is required to view the linked videos
  • Less accomplished readers may need additional support to make the connections required for the final project
  • The lesson teaches pupils how to base arguments on limited evidence and how to create educated guesses when a definite answer is not available
  • None