Craig Divis with students in South Africa

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching recipient Craig Divis

Craig M. Divis is a high school Social Studies teacher and department chair of the Social Studies department at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, Vermont, USA. He has been teaching for nine years and has received several awards, including the 2010 Vermont Teacher of the Year award. As a 2011-2012 Distinguished Fulbright Teacher, he traveled to South Africa to study the diversity of the anti-apartheid movement and how it is taught in schools today.

Craig’s capstone project was a teaching resource book on the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Entitled “The Rainbow Revolution,” it consists of 10 chapters that look more in-depth at the most prominent forms of resistance that was used in South Africa and around the world to protest apartheid. The chapters include: boycotts, civil disobedience, sanctions and divestment, religious protest, the armed struggle, music, the arts, hunger strikes, labor strikes, and literature. Each chapter includes examples of each type of protest not just in South Africa, but also around the world used by the international anti-apartheid movement. Chapters also include a timeline of these forms of protest, detailed explanations of major examples of these forms of protest, visuals, and a section showing these tactics and strategies also being effectively used in other countries throughout the 20th century. It also includes a vocabulary section, a list of resources, and even activities and assignments for teachers to use with their students. The overall idea is to connect the anti-apartheid movement to the broader theme of creating change and the different ways that people have done this around the world and throughout history. This resource book provides teachers with a plethora of examples of various types of how people have resisted systems of oppression and injustice, and empowers students to see that they can contribute in numerous ways to creating change, even if they are in a different country.

To gather the necessary information and research for this project, he conducted classroom observations, Craig spoke with teachers and students in numerous schools, sat in on undergraduate courses at his host university (the University of the Free State), traveled around the country to different historical sites and museums, spoke with historians and everyday citizens, and met regularly at his host university with his advisor and numerous professors in the History Department. Craig hopes the book will be a useful and informative resource for both teachers and students in South Africa and the United States.

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program in coordination with the Institute of International Education (IIE), U.S. Embassies and Consulates, Fulbright Commissions and other partners overseas.