Commitment 3: Bridging the Gap Between Professional Historians and K-12 Teachers and Students
I currently direct three U.S. Department of Education "Teaching American History" grants, which seek to create a core of teacher-mentors in schools in Austin, East Texas, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, and the Rio Grande Valley. Combining video conferencing technology with face-to-face instruction, our projects offer intensive two-week summer seminars; a year-round program of workshops, colloquia, and lectures; and packages of primary sources including art works, photographs, and historic documents, maps, music, and newspapers. Samples of our curriculum and public programming can be found at the PATH: Project for the Active Teaching of History website: http://www.path.coe.uh.edu.
I have also sought to promote professional development for history educators nationwide through a series of summer seminars sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Targeted at high school and middle school teachers, National Park Service rangers, and professors at small liberal arts colleges, and offered at Columbia and Yale, these seminars have dealt with "The Origin and Nature of New World Slavery," "The Slavery Debates," and "American History Through Film."
A major component of these seminars involves demonstrating how multimedia resources, including art, film, photographs, and sound recordings can be incorporated into the study of history and how students and teachers alike can create "Digital Stories," combining narration, music, and images using Ken Burns-like pan and scan techniques.