Center for History and New Media Launches National History Education Clearinghouse

Posted: May 19, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Mason’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM) has publicly launched the National History Education Clearinghouse, an online project that brings U.S. history teachers high-quality support and resources.

The clearinghouse is available to the public at teachinghistory.org.

In October 2007, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $7 million contract (if fully funded over five years) to CHNM, in partnership with Stanford University, the American Historical Association and the National History Center. The new clearinghouse is funded specifically under the Teaching American History program, which was created to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge and understanding of traditional U.S. history.

The online project focuses on historical thinking and learning and is designed to help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators, thereby expanding student knowledge of U.S. history and its relevance to their daily lives and future.

The clearinghouse provides links to the most informative and comprehensive history content on the Internet. It also provides teaching tools and resources such as lesson plan reviews, guides to working with primary sources and models of exemplary classroom teaching.

The clearinghouse will link to a number of national history education organizations and associations. The web site is interactive, allowing teachers to ask questions, comment on topical issues and share information on what and how they teach.

“We are thrilled to play such a prominent role in helping K-12 U.S. history teachers and in bringing together the many communities involved in history education,” says Kelly Schrum, director of educational projects at CHNM and clearinghouse project co-director.

“The Teaching American History program and the clearinghouse demonstrate the federal government’s dedication to improving history education, and we know that the clearinghouse will continue to improve and educate as it develops.”

The web site, directed by Schrum and Sharon Leon at CHNM and Sam Wineburg and Daisy Martin at Stanford, is organized around seven features:

  • history education news

  • history content

  • teaching materials

  • best practices

  • issues and research

  • professional development

  • Teaching American History grants

The clearinghouse uses the latest advances in digital technology to explore history teaching through interactive images as well as 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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