The National History Education Clearinghouse, an online project that brings U.S. history teachers high-quality support and resources, has been launched by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and project partner Stanford University. The clearinghouse is now available to the public at http://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 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 website is interactive, allowing teachers to ask questions, comment on topical issues and share information on what and how they teach.
“The National History Education Clearinghouse will put into the hands of any teacher with an Internet connection the highest quality materials for teaching U.S. history,” says Sam Wineburg, professor and chair of curriculum and teacher education at Stanford and executive producer and senior scholar of the clearinghouse. “We are honored to be part of the digital revolution that is changing history teaching.”
The clearinghouse is funded under Teaching American History (TAH), a federally funded program created to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge and understanding of traditional U.S. history. TAH has funded more than 800 projects across the country since 2001.
“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 website, co-directed by Schrum and Sharon Leon at CHNM, and Daisy Martin at Stanford, is organized around seven features: history education news, history content, teaching materials, best practices, issues and research, professional development and 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.
About the Center for History and New Media
Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. CHNM combines cutting edge digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as broad historical literacy. CHNM’s work has been recognized with major awards and grants from the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Library of Congress, and the Sloan, Mellon, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Gould, Delmas and Kellogg foundations.
About George Mason University
George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 40 law schools in the United States.