Resources

Historical Guide

Resources for Teachers

The purpose of Virtual Realities in Culture: Explorations of the African Diaspora is to teach K-12 students how to extract the "culture" from historical places in order that they, ultimately, gain an understanding of the commonalities, and an appreciation of the differences between themselves and other groups of humans who lived in the past.

It is important for educators of the middle and elementary-aged students are aware of the definition of culture that was used by the high school students in the creation process. "Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another" (Hofstede, 1984). As students journey through the sites, they should be able to see evidence of the collective programing of the mind among the group(s) of humans at each historical site, which offers an interior and exterior experience for middle and elementary students as well as hands on engagement with artifacts. The idea of the virtual experience is to bring the space to life for the students by placing them in each cultural setting making it appear like they can just reach out and touch the world of those who came before us.

Following each virtual experience, students should be able to answer these over-arching questions, which will assist them in extracting the culture from each respective historic site:

  • Who were these people that existed in this particular place and time period?
  • What evidence can be found at the historic site that can inform us about how these people shaped their world, physically and socially?
  • What types of evidence can be found at the historic site to inform us about how the world that these people created for themselves was impacted by the other groups of people?
  • What types of evidence can be found at the historic site to inform us about whether these people physically and socially organized their world for a specific end?
  • If they organized their world physically and socially for a specific end, what types of evidence can be found at the historic site to inform us of whether it was for the greater good of themselves and/or others?
  • What types of evidence can be found at the historic site to inform us about whether these people achieved their desired end by creating their world physically and socially as they did?