W.Va. Teachers to Participate in One of Just 10 Stops On Smithsonian Professional Development Road Tour

February 14, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Up to 300 West Virginia teachers will learn how to make the most of the vast resources housed at Smithsonian National Museum of American History during one of only 10 training sessions outside of Washington.

The museum’s “Let’s Do History Tour” will bring the best Smithsonian resources and teaching strategies to Capital High School in Kanawha County on Feb. 20. The project seeks to support K-12 social studies teachers by introducing them to museum objects such as the Star-Spangled Banner, effective techniques, powerful online tools and standards-based content that can be used in classrooms.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for West Virginia teachers,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Having access to museum objects and other primary source material helps students to understand how their own lives connect with people and events from the past.”

During the training event, the museum will share its interdisciplinary “do history” approach to teaching with a focus on everyday objects and people-centered stories and dialogue. During the morning, museum staff will help elementary teachers discover ways to integrate history into their English/language arts lessons. In the afternoon, secondary social studies teachers will learn how to make history come alive through virtual visits and other resources.

“The program combines the best of what the museum has to offer with best practices in 21st century education and will reach thousands of K-12 teachers nationwide,” said Marc Pachter, interim director of the National Museum of American History. “While we can’t change the amount of time teachers have to teach American history, we can help them make every minute count.”

Participants receive a USB flash drive containing free classroom materials, links to Web resources, and other teaching tools. Each session concludes with an invitation to stay in touch by joining the museum’s group in the Thinkfinity online learning community and the challenge to implement a new technique or resource, video record it and then share it with the online learning community. 

The National Museum of American History represents American heritage and its collections are displayed in exhibitions that interpret the American experience from Colonial times to the present.

To register for the event, visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/technology/resources/smithsonian.  For more information, contact Mark Moore at the West Virginia Department of Education at 304-558-7880, 53534 or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.


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