Class Re-Creation Project

Re-creating the 1950s Mary Washington College Classroom

Everyone: develop a student (real or fictional), with a major, and career plans.


  • Class Content: This group will work with Dr. McClurken to develop topic, class readings, activities(?), considering both the time period and ways to incorporate the other aspects of the research.
Crowell-Mackie, John
Parker, Brooke
Steck, Nicole
Mead, Kathleen

  • Non-academic items: This group will come up with ideas for actual events, social activities, or other announcements to be made before or at the start of the class.
Papp, Leanna
Simonpietri, Kendall
Isaacs, Brent
Christenson, Grace
Brooks, Claire

  • Clothing/material items — This group will decide on a dress code and will determine period style items that students/faculty would have brought with them to class.
Dunn, Katy
Schlupp, Carrie
Welker, Rebecca
Higgins, Carolyn
McGrath, Peter

  • Photo recreations — This group will pick out several 1950s MWC photos for the class to help recreate (perhaps with a modern version for comparison).  Part of this process will be identifying likely locales/props.


Battleson, Stephanie
Bell, Hannah
Loesch, Sarah
Monk, Sara
Stepanov-VandenBerg, Samantha









Class ideas

  • Recreate History class (4)
    • Red Scare as topic?
  • Recreate Education class
  • Recreate Home Economics
  • recreate scenes of photos from decade site — Sarah L.
    • “have individual students dress as 1950′s students and take photographs of modern students imitating the pictures from 1950” OR have modern versions of the photographs– Katy
  • Recreate Theater class (in the amphitheater) — Stephanie
  • Senior Day? — Brooke
  • One fun class and one serious class
  • Separate reading days emerged in the early 1950s — Review class for the semester?



  • Include veterans (a few) who were still around in early 1950s.
  • “Maybe each person could pick a major, not necessarily the same one they’re pursuing now, and look through courses and make a list of classes they’ve already taken, then think of a reason why they’re taking the particular class we reenact. If that works, maybe the same can be done for extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, etc.) so that we each have a small built-in scenario we can play with and use to interact with each other; this could bring in the non-academic resources as naturally as possible.” — Carrie
  • Students as students, McClurken as Professor

Working in non-academic items

  • — “There can be discussions in class about things that are happening and perhaps announcements made at the beginning of class of things that are happening socially around campus.”–Carolyn
  • — “I think the best way to do this would be to do what Dr. McClurken does at the beginning of our classes today: ask the class what they did over the weekend/ what their plans are for the week. Maybe there could be a dance or other social event coming up, or a new rule or privilege could have just been introduced.  A short discussion at the beginning of class of the world outside academics would be a great way to give a little authenticity to the class and also work in the elements that are not purely academic.” — Grace
  • “To work in the social aspects of MWC during the 1950s, we should definitely set up some “topics” that people should be discussing if they have a chance to chat, like the late-night fire drill, who stole the Goat flag and hid it, or how excited a senior was to finally live in Ball.”–Brooke


  • Library — “ a handout, maybe – that would capture what using the library was like for students in the 50s.  A guide to the Dewey Decimal System, how to use a card catalog. “
  • Dress — General agreement that we should try to dress in 1950s style.
  • Material Culture — books?  Technology?  Notepads

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