Unveiling History: Exploring America's Past




Tarasuk, Maria
Spoales, Linda
Schrum, Kelly
Hamner, Christopher
Rothman, Adam
O'Malley, Michael
Zagarri, Rosemarie
Kilday, Jessica

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Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media


Unveiling History: Exploring America’s Past provided intensive professional development focused on history, historical thinking, and practical classroom activities for K-12 teachers in Montgomery County, Maryland. RRCHNM collaborated to design the program content and structure; designed and built the website in WordPress; developed classroom activities; produced videos of historians and educators discussing and teaching with primary sources; and collated related resources from other RRCHNM sites and across the web. During the grant period, teachers participated in summer institutes led by RRCHNM-affiliated faculty, and engaged in school-year activities focusing on American history, historical thinking skills, and practical applications. Themes included: History through Biography, History through Images, History through Objects, History through Drama, and History through Place. The website served as a platform for teachers to share experiences and ideas with peers. Full site content, as of 2017 rebuild, consisted of a single about page with the following text: The Project Unveiling History: Exploring America’s Past was a Teaching American History grant that provides professional development opportunities for elementary, middle-, and high- school teachers. Teachers who participate in the program will receive graduate credits in history from George Mason University. Elementary teachers will participate in a 1- week summer institute lead by Professor Christopher Hamner and several school year activities. Workshops will focus on American history, historical thinking skills, and practical applications. Summer workshop themes include: History through Biography, History through Images, History through Objects, History through Drama, and History through Place. The content focus of each theme will alternate between the 4th and 5th grade curriculum each year, beginning with 5th grade during the 2011–2012 program. However, all U.S. history teachers are welcome to participate in any year, regardless of the content focus. Secondary teachers will participate in a 2-week summer institute led by professors Mike O’Malley (high school) and Adam Rothman (middle school). Workshops blend lectures, demonstrations of teaching strategies, and hands-on activities that emphasize content and historical thinking skills. Content themes include: Founding Documents, Immigration, Technology and Cultural Change, and War and Society. The website homepage provides resources for teachers nationally, including primary source activities, lessons, teaching resources, and podcasts. Participating teachers will login for detailed information and the course blog.  The Staff Maria Tarasuk (MCPS PreK–12 Program Supervisor, Social Studies)has worked in MCPS for 18 years as a middle and high school social studies teacher, a middle school instructional specialist and curriculum writer, and as the preK–12 program supervisor for social studies. Her contributions to the social studies program in MCPS include the integration of historical thinking skills in to middle school curriculum, development of resources for ESOL and Special Education students, creation of middle and high school assessments aligned to state standards, development of curriculum for more than ten middle- and high-school social studies courses, supervision of a previous Teaching American History grant, and providing a variety of professional development opportunities to teachers K–12. Linda Spoales (Project Coordinator) was an educator in Montgomery County Public Schools for 34 years, serving as a social studies classroom teacher, social studies resource teacher, and curriculum specialist. She taught both core and elective courses offered in the MCPS curriculum for grades 7 through 12, at all levels from inclusion to on-level, honors and AP courses. She has pioneered the use of technology in teaching, developing software to help teachers present information using primary sources with multimedia. Linda has also worked extensively with teacher training, having co-written and taught a course through MCPS staff development titled “Recent Trends in Social Studies.” This course focused on developments in social studies methodology, teaching reading and writing within a social studies course, and developing a variety of assessment strategies. She was project coordinator of the MCPS TAH grant Conflict and Consensus prior to coordinating the Unveiling History grant. Kelly Schrum (Academic Program Director) is the director of educational projects at the Center for History and New Media and an associate professor at George Mason University. Schrum is the author of Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls’ Culture, 1920–1950, U.S. History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online, and World History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online. Schrum is director of Teachinghistory.org and co-director of the websites Children and Youth in History, World History Sources, and Women in World History, and History Matters. She has worked extensively in the areas of 20th-century American culture, digital humanities, and teacher training. Christopher Hamner (Lead Historian) specializes in the social dimensions of U.S. military history. An honors graduate of Dartmouth College, he received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 2004. His first book, Enduring Battle: American Soldiers in Three Wars, 1776–1945, explores the changes in individual soldiers’ experiences in combat and the factors that motivated them to continue fighting as warfare became progressively more industrialized. He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the U.S. Army’s Center for Military History, and taught at Duke University and Appalachian State University in North Carolina before coming to George Mason University in 2005. Adam Rothman (Lead Historian) is an Associate Professor in the History Department at Georgetown University, where he teaches classes on the history of the Atlantic world, slavery, and Jeffersonian America. Rothman received his B.A. from Yale in 1993 and his Ph.D. from Columbia in 2000. Adam Rothman’s principal research interests lie in the history of the United States from the American Revolution to the Civil War, and in the transatlantic history of slavery. Rothman’s book, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South, was published by Harvard University Press in 2005 and explains how and why slavery expanded in the United States in the decades after the American Revolution. Michael O’Malley (Lead Historian) received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at GMU since 1994. Publications include Keeping Watch: A History of American Time(1994) and The State of Cultural History (2009). His most recent book, Face Value, On the History of Money and Value in Nineteenth-century America, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. As Associate Director of the Center for History and New Media, he has done extensive work in digital media, including publications and presentations on web design and digital pedagogy as well as the production of video and audio for web-based educational projects. An amateur musician, O’Malley is also interested in the history of recorded sound and recorded sound technology. He maintains a blog, theaporetic.. Rosemarie Zagarri (Lead Historian) is university professor and professor of history at George Mason University. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University and specializes in Early American history. She has published four books, the most recent of which is Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007; paperback, 2008). Her articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as the Journal of American History, American Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, andThe William & Mary Quarterly, and in numerous edited collections. Jessica Kilday (Project Associate) is the project associate for Unveiling History, the Teaching American History Grant for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, as well as for Exceptional Americans, Everyday Americans, the Teaching American History Grant for Loudoun County Public Schools. Jessica graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mary Washington in 2010 with a B.A. in History and a secondary education license in History and Social Sciences. She completed her student teaching in a 7th-grade social studies class and graduated with honors in history for her undergraduate thesis, “Feuding the Fairytale: The Contention Between ‘Women’s Lib’ and Prescribed Femininity in the Fredericksburg (VA) Free Lance-Star, 1967–1973.” The site is hosted at unveilinghistory.org.


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Pedagogy; digital history