Teaching the Transformation of Texas, 1930–1945 (Spring 2022 Online Series)
In the spring of 2022, Humanities Texas will hold a series of 90-minute webinars for Texas history teachers on how the profound changes of the Great Depression, the New Deal and World War II remade the state during the 1930s and 1940s.
Schedule and Curriculum
The series will take place via Zoom from 5:00–6:30 p.m. CT on Mondays from January 31 through February 28, 2022. Teachers who register will receive information for each webinar in the series. Attendance for every weekly session is encouraged but not required.
Content will be aligned with the TEKS. This webinar series will offer teachers insight into the profound changes that remade Texas during the 1930s–1940s as the Great Depression, New Deal, and World War II collectively transformed it from a region of rural farmers into a modern, urbanized state. Team-taught by a historian and two master teachers (Andrew Torget, the University of North Texas; Jay Ferguson, Round Rock ISD; and Michelle Phillips, College Station ISD), the sessions will provide a collection of curriculum materials geared toward bringing innovative perspectives into the classroom.
Like all Humanities Texas teacher programs, the webinar series will be content-based and teacher-centered, with an emphasis on teaching with primary sources and developing effective pedagogical strategies. Teachers attending this webinar series will walk away with expanded understanding of Texas during the 1930s–1940s and curated primary source lessons that are classroom-ready.
Spring 2022 Webinar Schedule:
- January 31— Texas before 1930: This session will survey twentieth-century Texas before the onset of the Great Depression, focusing on how the discovery of oil in 1901 began changing the state—and yet Texas nonetheless remained much as it had been during the nineteenth century: overwhelmingly rural with cotton farmers struggling to make ends meet. Expanded oil production during the 1920s then seemed to promise the state a prosperous future, until the stock market crash of 1929.
- February 7—The Great Depression in Texas: This session will focus on how the Great Depression collapsed the Texas economy in both oil and cotton farming and brought the state to its knees, focusing on both how the state attempted to cope with the ever-growing crisis and the experiences of everyday Texans during the worst economic decline in U.S. history.
- February 14—The New Deal in Texas: This session will focus on the broad enthusiasm among all Texans for the New Deal during the early 1930s, how Texas leaders played a key role in the creation of New Deal programs, the tremendous investments that New Deal programs made in Texas infrastructure and how that reshaped Texas, and the conservative backlash in Texas against the New Deal during the late 1930s.
- February 21— World War II and the Texas Home Front: This session will focus on the Texas home front during World War II, as the state served as the largest military training ground in the world. Texans threw themselves into the war effort in every possible way, as the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Corps established bases and training facilities across the state, bringing new jobs and rapid urbanization. At the same time, everyday Texans found themselves building ships and planes for the war effort while the state’s oil industry came roaring back to serve the U.S. military, remaking Texas in the process.
- February 28—Texas Transformed: This session will focus on tying together the four major ways that Texas had been transformed by 1945: the Texas economy had become broadly diversified (and therefore was far more stable than it was before 1930), Texas had become a majority urban population for the first time in its history (changing the state in innumerable ways), Texas politics had been transformed as the Democratic Party split into competing factions, and Texas emerged at the forefront of both the African American and Mexican American civil rights movements.
The institute is open to secondary-level social studies teachers in Texas schools.
Cost, Attendance, and CPE Credits
The online program is free to teachers and their schools. Participants will receive CPE credit and a wealth of curricular materials for each session in the series. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to attend every weekly session. CPE hours will be based on Zoom attendance and adjusted if a participant misses any portion of the program. In order to attend the webinars and receive CPE credit, you must be a registered participant.
How to Apply
Complete the online application for the "Teaching the Transformation of Texas, 1930–1945" online series. By submitting an application, you are signing up to receive information about and access to each weekly session of this series. Please apply as soon as possible, as registration will occur on a rolling basis.
The online series is made possible with major funding from the State of Texas with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.