The American Labor Studies Center receives numerous inquires from teachers who are interested in locating a complete course of study on the topic of labor history. Often they hope to have their school district adopt a version of the course as an elective offering or, at the very least, they plan to select certain topics for inclusion in a specific course they are already responsible for teaching.
In responding to such requests, we usually suggest that the most well developed courses on the history of labor and the working class can be found among the curriculum offerings at one of the nation’s colleges with a labor studies program.
Perhaps the best way to access these college based programs and some of the courses being offered is to visit the website of the United Association for Labor Education where they link to the various programs across the country. Two of the best courses we’ve discovered are offered by Professor Michael Gordon at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Professor Gerald Zahavi of the State University of New York at Albany. Both courses are logical in their scope and sequence and are filled with online, active links to the web’s best primary resources on labor history. Prof. Zahavi’s Workers and Work in America, 1600 to the Present: A Multimedia Course include a well researched bibliography.