The Learning 2.0 School

Shifting Perceptions of Teaching and Learning in and out of the School Library

Reading & Professional Development Opportunities for History Teachers

Posted by Michelle Torrise on September 19, 2011

Chicago, IL

American Historical Association, What We’re Reading.   A great resource for historical perspective on current events.  My favorite link, The Jackie Kennedy Tapes (September 15, 2011).

126th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, January 5-8, 2012, Chicago IL.  One of many interesting sessions include Teaching the Past in a Digital World: New Perspectives for History Education.

An American Studies.  A Blog published by two New Trier teachers, Spiro Bolos (Social Studies) and John S. O’Connor (English).  I was fortunate to have attended one of Bolos’s professional development workshops at the 2010 ICE conference, where he presented on copyright.  Bolos and O’Connor’s Blog exemplifies best practices in teaching and integrating media literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving.    Also, don’t miss Bolos’s Modern World History Blog.   Notice how the students are actively communicating on the blogs–an indicator of best practices in tech integration.


One Response to “Reading & Professional Development Opportunities for History Teachers”

  1. Although these are thorny problems, we believe that history teachers can make a difference in student learning if they have the right tools. The History Blueprint’s goal is to support teachers’ efforts to increase student achievement and engagement and improve students’ historical knowledge, academic literacy, and critical thinking skills. We operate on the premise that history is an interpretive discipline. Teachers have to engage students in the subject, and once they are engaged, teach them not only historical “facts” but also how to analyze primary sources, how to make an interpretation, and how to support it with evidence. To these ends, the History Blueprint is designed to give teachers four tools or components. The first is a comprehensive curriculum for history-social science in grades 4-12, aligned with the California content standards. This means a full set of units, lesson plans, primary sources, activities for students, multimedia, and teacher keys for the entire scope of U.S. and World History. Everything teachers need will be included in each unit, and when each unit is finished, it will be made available online for teachers everywhere – for free. The second piece is that all the lessons will incorporate literacy support for students. Third, we are creating a set of assessments that will measure student achievement in historical thinking and literacy, in addition to mastery of content knowledge. The final component is professional development for teachers – to increase their historical knowledge and build their repertoire of teaching skills. In short, the History Blueprint puts all the tools and support structures that the History Project has developed at the disposal of teachers.

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