ERIC Identifier: ED363568
Publication Date: 1993-09-00
Author: Hunter, Kathleen
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education Bloomington IN.
Teaching with Historic Places. ERIC Digest.
Our communities are classrooms waiting to be explored; they offer places that are continually shaped and reshaped by our historical experiences and cultural expressions. Some of these places document dramatic events, heroic deeds, creative and technical inventiveness, and the lives of extraordinary men and women. Others reflect the everyday events and patterns of ordinary people over time. Both types of places--the extraordinary and the ordinary--become a part of our local, state, and national heritage.
These kinds of historic places are focal points of a new curriculum project for schools sponsored by the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places and The National Trust for Historic Preservation. These agencies have formed a partnership to offer a program of educational materials and professional training and development for teachers, museum educators, and site interpreters. This ERIC Digest discusses the TEACHING WITH HISTORIC PLACES program, its products, and how they can be used in classrooms and communities by students, teachers, and other interested groups.
HISTORIC PLACES DOCUMENT OUR PAST
The abstract concepts and broad issues they study in textbooks are transformed into tangible realities and intriguing stories about their everyday world. Students also can explore faraway places and discover the connections between these places and their own community. Schools, preservationists, museum and site interpreters, and others can work together to help their community appreciate its history and culture, and find ways to take care of places that have special meaning.
A VARIETY OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Other materials soon to be published include education kits that provide longer curriculum units. The kits use a number of places listed on the National Register of Historic Places to create a structured group of lessons. Each kit's theme is explored from various perspectives in lessons on different places. Students learn how cultural, geographic, social, and economic diversity influence history. The kits use readings and audio/visual materials to show how the theme is revealed through the arts, literature, and technological sciences, as well as history and the social sciences. A curriculum guide and other aids link individual lessons to each kit's theme. The lessons can be used to form a complete curriculum unit, or they can be interspersed with other units throughout the school year.
TEACHING WITH HISTORIC PLACES offers teachers, preservationists, and museum and site interpreters opportunities to participate in professional development and receive technical assistance to learn how to use historic places for educational purposes. Training emphasizes the importance of partnerships between communities and their schools for successful programs. Participants learn to identify and select evidence that will help them interpret the history and culture of their community or site. They use an inquiry approach to designing instructional materials and activities, and they are guided in constructing lesson plans that follow the TEACHING WITH HISTORIC PLACES format. A curriculum framework and technical assistance kit will be available soon to help schools of education, state education agencies, community organizations, and school districts use the TEACHING WITH HISTORIC PLACES approach in graduate courses, workshops, and curriculum development projects. Local and state leadership teams, including preservationists and educators, will be trained to use the materials and strategies of TEACHING WITH
HISTORIC PLACES. A GUIDE AND MODEL FOR LOCALLY DEVELOPED PROGRAMS.
* A dramatic introduction that engages the interest of teachers and students and links the place to state, regional, and national history.
* Challenging objectives that strengthen students' critical thinking skills in an in-depth exploration of a place in their community.
* Written and visual evidence about the place that students can analyze to determine the facts.
* Learning activities that encourage students to "put it all together"--using the information they have gathered to interpret the significance of the place in their community's history and culture, and to generalize what they have learned to other places and other issues.
DEVELOPERS AND DISTRIBUTORS OF THE PROGRAM MATERIALS.
The National Register of Historic Places is our nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Over 61,000 properties are listed in the National Register. They include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. These resources contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the nation.
For information on the National Register for Historic Places, write: Carol Shull, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, DC 20013-7127; (202) 343-9536.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation was established by the Congress in 1949 as a non-profit organization. Its mission is to foster an appreciation of the diverse character and meaning of our American cultural heritage, and to preserve and revitalize the livability of our communities by leading the nation in saving America's historic environments. The Trust offers a wide range of educational programs through its national and regional offices and its eighteen historic properties. It works with more than 48,000 local and state preservation groups throughout the United States to interpret and protect their communities' historic and cultural resources. Support for the National Trust is provided by its 250,000 members, contributions, and a matching grant from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
For information on the Trust's programs and the communities they serve, write: Kathleen Hunter, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (202) 673-4040. To order TEACHING WITH HISTORIC PLACES materials, call (800) 766-6847.
REFERENCES AND ERIC RESOURCES
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Biermann, Melanie, and others. MADISON, MONTPELIER, AND THE CONSTITUTION: A FIELD TRIP EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS. MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1990. ED 326 459.
Biermann, Melanie, and others. MADISON, MONTPELIER, AND THE CONSTITUTION: A FIELD TRIP EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS. SECONDARY PROGRAM. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1990. ED 326 460.
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Hunter, Kathleen. HERITAGE EDUCATION RESOURCE GUIDE. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1990. ED 339 630.
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INDIANA HERITAGE RESOURCES HANDBOOK. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1989. ED 317 478.
James, Diane. THE OLD COURTHOUSE IN ST. LOUIS: YESTERDAY AND TODAY. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, 1993. ED number will be assigned.
Metcalf, Fay. KNIFE RIVER: EARLY VILLAGE LIFE ON THE PLAINS. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, 1993. ED number will be assigned.
Metcalf, Fay. LOG CABINS IN AMERICA: THE FINNISH EXPERIENCE. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, 1993. ED number will be assigned.
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