Connecticut Teaching American History Wikispace

This wiki is for the Teaching American History Project, administered by EASTCONN for the Windham Public Schools and other school systems in northeastern Connecticut. The project is a professional development program for teachers of American history in grades 5-12. During the academic year, project teachers participate in a variety of public history programs, hands-on, activity based workshops, seminars and lesson plan support sessions. In addition, when school ends, they participate in a five-day summer institute. The public history programs, workshops and summer institutes are designed to improve teachers’ content understanding of American history; their skills analyzing, interpreting, and effectively using primary source materials; and their awareness and understanding of the many local resources (museums, historical sites, and historical societies) available in our region. Some sessions are held on site at EASTCONN, others involve field trips to visit these local resources. During seminars, teachers discuss effective classroom strategies as well as the challenges involved in engaging all students in the process of doing and learning history.

Project teachers are developing a “curriculum” of lessons based on primary sources and local resources. The lessons are grouped by related historical content or eras and are tied to Connecticut’s Social Studies Frameworks. Wanting students in all history classes to be involved higher level thinking, each lesson starts with an inquiry statement or question identifying the essential question students will be asked to answer, the decision they will be asked to make, or the problem they will be asked to solve. These lessons and the primary sources on which they are based are posted on the EASTCONN website for all teachers to access.

This wikispace originated because TAH teachers at our first semiar indicated they would like to converse with thier project colleagues between seminars. It is hoped that this Web 2.0 tool will facilitate that need and allow us to continue these conversations. I have created two pages based on the seminar conversations: teaching history with technology and teaching with primary sources. I'm sure project teachers will create other pages for conversation as interest and need indicate. So colleagues, what are you thinking?


For information about the Teaching American History project, contact:

Dan Coughlin