Using field-tested learning strategies and the power of interactive Web 2.0 technologies, the Beyond Words 2.0 project promoted inquiry-based, wise practice approaches for improving student outcomes through primary sources. Social studies teachers from partnership schools with The University of Alabama were introduced to Teaching with Primary Sources Level I objectives and resources. Participating teachers informed their colleagues on the use of primary sources from the Library of Congress. This project piloted procedures for offering asynchronous, online professional development centered on primary source instruction and support for teachers.
Contact: Dr. Cory Callahan
Teacher candidates from Auburn University and their cooperating teachers received extensive professional development on Level I Teaching with Primary sources program objectives. In-service teachers mentored and supported the pre-service teachers to work in their classrooms and integrate primary sources into their instruction.
Teacher candidates at the University of South Alabama were trained by facilitators from the TPS Midwest Region, Alabama Archives, and the History Museum of Mobile. They received additional instruction through professional development videos about integrating primary sources from the Library of Congress. Activities using primary sources and a workshop held at the museum and the Archives engaged the teacher candidates and provided them with sample lesson plans.
Contact: Dr. Susan Santoli
Social studies teachers from the ten lowest-performing middle schools (grades 6–8) in the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) were trained to develop interactive, student-centered, and inquiry-oriented instruction which integrated the reading and effective use of primary sources from the Library of Congress. Professional development included techniques for increasing student engagement. A teacher leader from each school in the trainee group served as an instructional coach for teachers; teacher leaders also offered professional development workshops for other teachers in their region after this year-long project. School improvement specialists and administrators were also involved in this professional development to offer an additional layer of instructional support.
Contact: Todd Stork
During three days of intensive professional development, educators had the opportunity to attend lectures by scholarly presenters, participate in a simulated congressional hearing, and learn information about lesson development, including the use and integration primary sources into the We the People curriculum. Lessons developed during and at the conclusion of the workshop were posted on the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education website and submitted to the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) for publication. In addition to the dissemination of lessons, this project was presented at the state and national levels.
Contact: Dr. Alan Stevens
Building upon their content knowledge of civics, government, and economics, teachers acquired pedagogical skills for integrating primary sources into the We the People (WTP) curriculum. The lessons, which incorporated digitized primary sources from the Library of Congress, were created from WTP texts and supplemented by iPods. After training, teachers later participated in a simulated congressional hearing. Recordings of these hearings and the lessons created were posted on Facebook to provide networking opportunities and a resource repository for teachers.
Pre-service elementary education teachers conducted an oral history project and created a photo story using primary sources from the Library of Congress. They also designed an interdisciplinary lesson plan to be utilized in their field placement, incorporating their research and assessments of historical thinking. Lesson plans were submitted to Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) for publication on their website.
Pre-service elementary education teachers from Troy University used digital primary sources from the Library of Congress to create inquiry-based learning experiences. Utilizing the train-the-trainer model, teacher trainers helped disseminate effective instructional strategies that used primary sources to reach in-service regions in Alabama.
Contact: Dr. Ruth Busby