STAUNTON, VIRGINIA--The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced it will lead two groups of teachers this week on trips to historic sites as a part of the Teaching American History program. One group of area history teachers, in conjunction with Waynesboro Public Schools, will visit Gettysburg, where they will study the international implications of the American Civil War. The other group of teachers, working with Bedford County Public Schools, will visit Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. Both trips are part of three-year professional development programs for history teachers made possible by Teaching American History grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
The group going to Gettysburg includes teachers from Waynesboro, Staunton, Winchester, and Fredericksburg City schools and Augusta, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Amherst County schools. These teachers are in the second year of their program, entitled “Critical Connections in American History.” This group has already participated in one-week institutes at the Presidential Library last summer and this summer and one day workshops in the spring and fall the last two years.
The second group of teachers includes teachers from Alleghany, Bath, Bedford, Craig, Giles, Highland, and Pulaski County Public Schools. These teachers are in the first year of their program, entitled “American History in International Context.” This group participated in one-day preparatory sessions at the Presidential Library last fall and this spring and a one-week institute at the Presidential Library this summer.
The Teaching American History program is designed to improve the teachers’ knowledge and appreciation of American history by focusing on critical connections in America’s past. The project will strengthen teachers’ understanding of American history, impart a sense of the interplay of factors that influenced national development, provide knowledge of primary documents and material artifacts, demonstrate the use of advanced technology in teaching and, ultimately, improve students’ performance on standardized tests in American history. Both groups of teachers will return to the Presidential Library for one-day sessions this fall and next spring, and participate again in summer institutes in 2011.
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is open 360 days a year for guests from around the world to tour the President’s Birthplace, the Museum, and the historic gardens. In addition, thousands of schoolchildren participate in educational programming each year. In addition to teacher institutes, the Presidential Library attracts top-flight speakers and sponsors a variety of educational symposia. For more information, visit the WWPL’s website at www.woodrowwilson.org.
Those interested in more information about the Teaching American History program should contact Dr. Joel Hodson, Director of Education at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, at (540) 885-0897, extension 103, or firstname.lastname@example.org.