The Public History Project : Black Creek Pioneer Village

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The public history project I undertook this semester was at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The project consisted of researching the lives of youth and their families, and educators in nineteenth century. This research included reading secondary sources to establish a base scholarly understanding of the social history of the time period in question, and most importantly, how the social fabric of society impacted children. The areas of social history that were of particular interest for this project included: gender, class, attitudes towards education and its use in regards to moral and social regulation, and the ideal parent. The project itself involved compiling a detailed list of archival documents (letters from the Brown children and their friends and family, as well as from the Department of Public Instruction) , and photographs (mainly portraits). This project contributes to the fulfillment of Black Creek’s new vision enhance the visitor experience by telling them the real stories of those who lived during that time period. This research paper will focus on the education of youth. Education, while not the top priority for children in the nineteenth century (a significant difference to today’s youth), still was vitally important in regards to shaping the experience of youth. The education system can also give historians insight into gender dynamics, as well as the value that society had place on youth (and their ideal role). In addition, studying the curriculum used

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