How Working with Teachers Impacted My Work: Historians Reflect on the Value of Education Outreach

AHA Session 185
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Blue Room Prefunction (Omni Shoreham, East Lobby)
Andy Mink, National Humanities Center
Luis Martinez-Fernandez, University of Central Florida
Joshua Reid, University of Washington
Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello

Session Abstract

A common model for outreach and professional development workshops and programs features the academic historian as a lecturer in order to impart understanding to an audience of in-service teachers. This role makes sense because the expertise and experience of the university professional gives the teaching audience access to research and scholarship that help strengthen their instruction. This content is imparted in a variety of ways: lectures and talks, small group seminars and discussions, online webinars and video conferences, even graduate level coursework. The teacher relies on their own pedagogical expertise to integrate their new knowledge into their curriculum.

 This model is an effective way for teachers to remain engaged with emerging scholarship. But how does this kind of relationship impact the university scholar? If their role is simply to impart knowledge that they are passionate about as researchers, then the benefits are mostly intrinsic. How can professional development programs be designed so that they benefit the scholar, the researcher, the academic in meaningful professional ways as well?

 This panel will feature four academic historians who have participated and led project-based professional development as colleagues with middle and secondary level educators. Each panelist will detail their work with teachers and how it has impacted their careers, contributed to their research, and provided them with innovative new understandings of teaching and learning. The goals of this panel are to illustrate that the best practices of project-based work serve to benefit the university professional.

 Dr. Josh Reid, Associate Professor of History at University of Washington, will discuss his work in curriculum development that focus on the tribal nations in Washington State. These collaborations with the Makah Tribal Nation and the Smithsonian allow him to work side-by-side with educators to develop rich instructional resources that imbed his scholarship – but also inform his research.

 Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez, History Professor at University of Central Florida, has worked in a field-based research project with teachers in Barbados. Drawing on his expertise in Latin America studies, his role became more than academic advisor on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Instead, his own scholarly projects were impacted by the pedagogical lens that the team used to investigate the cultural landscape of the Atlantic Caribbean.

 Dr. Andrew O’Shaunnessy is the Vice President of Monticello, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His panel presentation will focus on his work with a research-based team that mined the National Archives in London for primary source materials in order to create geospatial instructional kits. His own research integrated several key details of this research, and he continues to work collaboratively with several teachers after the life of the project.

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