Creating Connections: Historical Scholarship and the K-12 Classroom

AHA Session 77
Friday, January 4, 2019: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Stevens C-5 (Hilton Chicago, Lower Level)
Rachel B. Reinhard, University of California, Berkeley
Tracye A. Matthews, University of Chicago
Nikki D. Mandell, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Don Romesburg, Sonoma State University

Session Abstract

Scholars and K-12 educators have long worked in isolation from one another. More recently, historians have sought ways to inform, through the most recent academic scholarship, the historical questions that are asked and narratives that are shared in elementary and secondary classrooms. This panel will share three distinct efforts that have 1) advocated for the expansion of topics included in state standards, 2) compiled usable resources for educators, and 3) developed curated and contextualized source sets for use in K-12 classrooms. Don Romesburg, who recently has been recognized by the AHA for his role in ensuring a fuller implementation of the FAIR Act, a California law which was passed in 2011 to incorporate LGBT history and the history of people with disabilities into K-12 US History curriculum, will discuss how scholars reviewed the existing History-Social Science Standards in California, revised them based on recent scholarship on gender and sexuality, and followed the governmental process of adoption of the state’s new History-Social Science Framework. Angela LeBlanc-Ernest and Tracye A. Matthews represent the leadership team of the Intersectional Black Panther Party History Project. These scholars of the Black Panther Party wanted to increase instruction around the role of women in the Black Panther Party. Through the creation of a website and compilation of resources, in addition to public events for educators, they have made a broad array of vetted resources available to educators across the country. Nikki Mandell has led an effort from within the Labor and Working Class History Association to increase instruction of the history of labor in K-12 classrooms. LAWCHA members have begun creating source sets that can be easily accessed by teachers to increase explicit instruction around labor history. Additionally, Mandell has convened labor historians to identify opportunities, parallel to the passage of the FAIR Act in California, in which scholars can inform and broaden instruction in the history of labor. Collectively, these individual efforts attest to the academy’s commitment to informing meaningful history instruction in the K-12 classroom and offer models to other scholars with regard to how their research can influence broader audiences. Rachel B. Reinhard, the director of the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, which seeks to bridge the K-16 continuum through its location in the Department of History at UC Berkeley and their programming for K-12 teachers in the Bay Area, will chair the panel. This program would appeal to scholars who are interested in public applications for their scholarship and in developing partnerships with the K-12 community.
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