All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Susan K Spezzini

Advisory Committee Members

Andrew McKnight

Jenna Lachenaye

Andrew Keitt

Tonya Perry

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


ABSTRACT The nation is embroiled within intense debate regarding the existence of monuments, markers, and online museums as vestiges of racism and White privilege. Many argue those symbols should be removed from the public square. The essential question of this research is what are social studies methods teachers’ perspectives about using monuments, markers, and online museums (3M) as teaching tools to prepare pre-service teachers to utilize historical thinking skills? This study was designed in part to re-tool a traditional interpretation of controversial 3M artifacts that deal honestly with memory, providing learners a compelling motivation to explore history that promotes greater literacy and historical research skills. An online survey was distributed to members of the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) and Critical Resources for Elementary School Social Studies (CRESST). Methods instructors were selected within these groups because of their expertise within the field of social studies education. The instructors were also chosen because they are involved directly within the instruction of pre-service teachers. Members of CUFA and CRESST also provide a national sample for the survey. Survey results indicate there is significant support from among college and university methods instructors for the use of 3M to teach historical thinking skills to pre-service teachers. The survey also revealed 3M can be an effective pedagogy to promote literacy and historical thinking skills. Many social studies methods instructors from colleges and universities across the nation specified a number of benefits of using 3M that include: promoting democratic participation by examining the importance of public memory, strengthening pre-service teachers’ understanding of the value culture places on public memory, and analyzing controversial issues and how history is interpreted. Survey respondents also cited benefits to K-12 students including the provision of 3M to help students compare perspectives of people within the past to those in the present, helping visual learners make connections about history traditional textbooks might not provide. Many also view 3M as an analytical toolkit from which to teach K-12 students how to think critically about history.

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