Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region @ Metropolitan State University of Denver

National Council on History Education Conference 2018

The 10th annual Teacher/Scholar mini-conference collaboration between the Western History Association (WHA) and TPS Western Region was held at the 2018 National Council for History Education (NCHE) Conference in San Antonio.

Dubbed, “Teachers as Scholars: Primary Source Documents and Teaching the American West,” this wildly successful project brings together teachers and university professors to build lesson plans and bring recent historical scholarship to students across the nation. By building a bridge between the work that historians do on a daily basis, and K-12 teachers who can interpret the primary-source based research for their students, allows historical innovation and new ideas to enter the classroom.

This year, thirteen teachers from across the nation worked with three scholars.

The scholars and their focus included:

  • Cynthia Culver Prescott, University of North Dakota, on changing depictions of gender and race in pioneer monuments erected throughout the American West from the 1880s to the present
  • Jeffrey Johnson, Providence College, “The 1916 Preparedness Day Bombing: Anarchy and Terrorism in Progressive Era America”
  • Omar Valerio-Jiménez, University of Texas at San Antonio, “The Brown Berets & Public History: Constructing Counter Narratives in Aztlan”

During the pre-conference at NCHE, the participating teachers were introduced to the scholarship of the historians and the resources available through the Library of Congress. The teachers and historians spent the day exploring each topic and brainstorming ideas for lessons that translate the historians’ research into learning approaches appropriate for middle and high school students. Following the NCHE meeting, teachers finalize, teach, and reflect on these lesson plans, returning to San Antonio to present their approaches at the Western History Association from Oct. 17-20.

Join us at the Western History Association to see the final results of the collaboration!

Additionally, for exciting opportunities to be recognized for innovative teaching practices, considering submitting a lesson plan for the Charles Redd Center Teaching Western History Award.

Check out NCHE’s past conference breakout session handouts for inspiration for your next lesson!

Next year’s NCHE conference will be held in Washington, DC from March 14-16, 2019.

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