Mason Awarded Contract to Create a National History Education Clearinghouse

Posted: October 5, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Probst Ferraro

Mason has been awarded a contract — valued at $7 million if fully funded over five years — by the U.S. Department of Education to create an online National History Education Clearinghouse. The online project, which will be housed in Mason’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM), will focus on historical thinking and learning. It will also help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators and show their students why history is relevant to their daily lives.

The project will be led by Roy Rosenzweig, director of CHNM; Kelly Schrum, director of educational projects and associate research professor in the Department of History and Art History; and Sharon Leon, associate director of educational projects and assistant research professor in the Department of History and Art History. They will manage content research and development, coordinate teacher outreach and direct the design and construction of a new digital center to provide links to the most informative history content on the Internet.

Once online, the clearinghouse will provide educators with a host of teaching tools and resources and be a portal through which teachers can share materials related to history.

“As potentially one of the largest federal contracts Mason has ever received, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to use our faculty’s experience and expertise to create an invaluable resource for K-12 history teachers throughout the country,” says President Alan Merten. “CHNM is among the leading national digital history and digital humanities centers in the country, and I am very proud that Mason will play such a prominent role in this important and innovative project.”

Working with project partners Stanford University, the American Historical Association and the National History Center, the clearinghouse will have both on- and offline components. These web and non-web based resources will be grounded in the latest and most significant scholarship on history and history education, as well as research on best practices in teacher professional development and an awareness of the possibilities and limitations of the digital medium.

The web site will be organized around seven features: history education news, history content, teaching materials, best practices, policy and research, professional development and teaching American history grants. The clearinghouse will also use the latest advances in digital technology to explore key concepts through interactive images, audio clips and videos of classroom teaching and historians discussing primary sources.

Offline support will include a yearly conference, a newsletter and an annual report on the state of history education in the United States.

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