Ron Butchart

Professor and head of elementary and social studies education

Ron Butchart

Ron Butchart, professor and head of elementary and social studies education, is recognized nationally and internationally for his body of work on freedmen’s teachers in the South after the Civil War and on the history of black education in the United States. His Freedmen’s Teacher Project, a database with extensive biographical and prosopographic information on more than 11,600 individual teachers of the freed people between 1862 and 1876, is one of the largest individually constructed social history digital databases currently available. This data combined with Butchart’s critical analysis has provided historians with a much clearer picture of the freed people’s teachers, one that necessitates a revision of many previously held beliefs about the education of freed African Americans, the origins of Southern schooling and the history of race and American education. His most recent publication is Schooling the Freed People: Teaching, Learning, and the Struggle for African American Freedom, 1861-1876 (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).