Patricia Nelson Limerick, Center of the American West, University of Colorado, and Colorado State Historian
Brenda J. Santos, Achievement First
Jessica Choppin Roney, Temple University
Our session seeks to address some of these challenges by posing three questions to the discussants and to the audience: (1) What are the specific qualities (skills, habits, dispositions) of the discipline of history that make it central to active citizenship? (2) What are some specific strategies that we can use in our respective institutional settings (K-12, colleges/universities, museums) to communicate those qualities more effectively and more widely? (3) What are some assignments that our students have done in which they have had to use historical perspective as central to citizenship and how well have such assignments worked in permitting us to determine how effectively and how centrally they have used historical perspective while acting as citizens?
Our panel approaches these questions from a variety of perspectives: the AHA’s Tuning Project, public history, K-12, and college/university settings. We do not envision or expect that each discussant will speak to all three questions. Patricia Nelson Limerick co-authored the Lumina Foundation grant proposal that funded the Tuning Project and argued strongly that the project explicitly address the discipline’s role in teaching and learning citizenship. Jon Grinspan works as a Curator of Political History in the Political Division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Arley Pekrul has developed innovative civics curricula for high school students. Jessica Choppin Roney has incorporated the National History Center’s Mock Policy Briefing Program into a course on the history of Philadelphia. John Bezís-Selfa, who will chair the session and moderate discussion, is part of the Tuning Project’s Leadership Core. We anticipate that our session will attract a diverse audience of educators from K-12, colleges and universities, and public historians who wish to discuss in concrete terms and learn more about how our discipline can help to create more active citizens.