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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

Radford University

Curriculum for
Coal Mining in Central Appalachia

Through the use of Appalachian literature, music, dance, and art, ATP students studied both the history and present practices of coal mining.   The students partnered with community members in Gay, Cabin Creek, and Kayford Mountain, WV, to create an interdisciplinary, place-based curriculum focused on coal mining in Central Appalachia.   The students collaboration with citizens enabled them to draw from the intrinsic educational wealth of the people and area and to celebrate the often uncelebrated knowledge of community members.   In order to build healthy and sustainable Appalachian communities, where students are connected intimately and meaningfully to their community, educators and policy makers must reevaluate the curriculum in rural Appalachia and interject much needed place-based educational practices alongside standardized test material.   Students created the curriculum and then shared it with key faculty members in the Radford University College of Education and Human Development, who then shared the information with student teachers and masters degree students as an example of a place-based pedagogical approach to learning.

Final Report

Student Participants: Danielle Martin, Dan Bowyer

Theresa L. Burriss


Contact Information:

Dr. Theresa L. Burriss
Director, Appalachian Regional Studies Center
Chair, Appalachian Studies
Radford University
P.O. Box 7014
Radford, VA   24142
Telephone:  540-831-6857



Previous Conference Participation:  2009


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