American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Past Programs

While no longer currently operating, these professional learning programs served hundreds of history and humanities faculty in New York City and around the country and provided the foundation for our current work.

Making Connections (1989-2007)

Begun as a collaboration between CUNY community college history faculty and New York City  high school social studies teachers (and known originally as the High School Collaboration), Making Connections became ASHP/CML's flagship professional development program during the 1990s and into the 2000s. ASHP/CML staff and CUNY faculty worked with teams of social studies and English teachers to develop model interdisciplinary humanities curriculum using student-centered, inquiry-based teaching and learning methods. The program consisted of day-long seminars held during the school year and weekly school-site mentoring by CUNY faculty and retired New York City Department of Education teachers.  

Global Connections (1996-2000)

Part of the Making Connections program, the Global Connections seminar was designed to help New York City teachers find more effective ways to teach 9th and 10th grade Global History courses. Meeting monthly during the school year, ASHP/CML staff and CUNY faculty worked with teams of social studies and English teachers as they collaboratively planned and taught interdisciplinary courses in Global History and English Language Arts. Teachers created engaging curriculum materials and devised ways to help their students, new to high school, increase their literacy and study skills.

Goals 2000 (1998-2000)

Goals 2000 provided week-long summer institutes where teachers could develop lessons, classroom testing of those lessons, and school-based workshops for New York City high school teachers seeking to use the internet and other digital technology in teaching. The program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Goals 2000 initiative, which provided funds for hardware, software, and professional development to school districts nationwide attempting to integrate new technology into instruction.

Students at the Center (1996-1999)

Funded by the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund (now The Wallace Foundation), Students at the Center was a national initiative implemented in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The program emphasized student-centered constructivist pedagogy and linking classroom change to school-wide reform. ASHP/CML worked in a collaborative effort with the Lehman College Institute for Literacy Studies, Educational Video Center, Youth Communications, Teachers College of Columbia University, and the City College of New York Workshop Center. Together, these organizations developed and presented cross-disciplinary professional development workshops designed to help teachers reinforce students’ academic skills.

Middle College High School Collaboration (1994-2000)

This joint program with LaGuardia Community College allowed ASHP/CML to work with a national network of small, innovative high schools based on the campuses of urban community colleges. ASHP/CML offered advanced faculty training designed to increase students’ interest and understanding of U.S. history and literature while improving their literacy and critical thinking skills. The DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund (now The Wallace Foundation) and the Pew Charitable Trust funded this program.

New Media Classroom: Narrative, Inquiry, and Technology in the U.S. History Survey (1996-2002)

A first of its kind humanities focused, teaching-with-technology faculty development program, New Media Classroom served educators from schools, colleges/universities, and cultural institutions across the country. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, New Media Classroom provided educators with an opportunity to explore the use of new educational technology resources found on the World Wide Web and CD-ROMs in the teaching and learning of American history and culture.

Learning to Look: Visual Evidence and the U.S. Past in the New Media Classroom (2002-2004)

Ten high school and college/university campuses served as “regional centers” for hands-on study, application, and reflection on the critical use of online archival images in teaching history and related humanities courses. Learning to Look, supported by the Education Division of the National Endowment for the Humanities, featured such activities as surveying and evaluating image archives found on the World Wide Web and CD-ROMs; building collaborations between art and cultural institutions; and preparation of curricular models that use visual sources to enhance student understanding of the past. Each center coordinated a one-week institute based on the national model.

Teaching American History (2003-2014)

Beginning in 2003, ASHP/CML successfully partnered with school districts in New York City and Pennsylvania to develop and implement Teaching American History programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. These grants allowed us to work for three years with groups of grade 7-12 teachers, helping them to strengthen their U.S. History content knowledge and teaching methods. Our team of historians and experienced educators planned seminars that provided speakers, readings, and other content that engaged each teacher’s inner historian; classroom-ready materials that worked for both teachers and their students; pragmatic strategies for dealing with the realities and challenges facing teachers today; constructive conversations about the elements of effective history teaching; and a professional and collegial atmosphere for teachers to talk and work together.

Teaching American History: Brooklyn (2004-2007)

Teachers As Historians was designed to advance American history instruction in middle schools and high schools of Brooklyn’s Community School District 17. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History initiative, Teachers As Historians featured day-long seminars, classroom visitations by City University of New York faculty, and development of standards-based curriculum. The program included a partnership with ASHP/CML along with cultural and education partners the Brooklyn Museum and The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Teaching American History: Greencastle-Antrim School District, PA (2004-2007)

The Greencastle-Antrim School Districts in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, partnered with ASHP/CML to launch a Teaching American History program modeled from ASHP/CML’s successful national teaching with technology program, the New Media Classroom. The program featured an intensive summer institute and online seminars exploring effective uses of multimedia technology in humanities classrooms. Teachers were drawn from the district’s middle schools and high schools.

Teaching American History: History for All (2009-2014)

History for All served New York City K-12 social studies instructors of special education students in Districts 31, 19, 20, 21, and 23.  The program provided four day-long seminars during the school year, including one at program partner the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At these seminars, teachers worked with guest historians and ASHP/CML staff to explore a range of key topics and ideas in U.S. history. At a week-long summer institute, teachers used primary documents to develop classroom activities designed to meet their students’ diverse learning needs.

Teaching American History: History Matters (2010-2014)

This program worked with 7th and 8th grade social studies teachers in Districts 32, 27, and 18 who taught special education and English Language Learner (ELL) students. Participants will took part in a combination of day-long seminars hosted by ASHP/CML and additional seminars at local cultural partners (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, Paley Center for Media, New York Public Library, and Lower East Side Tenement Museum). They explored topics in U.S. history, shared approaches to history education that address their students' literacy challenges and wide variety of learning styles, and became familiar with a rich array of local history resources. To connect the program closely to student learning, teachers also developed document-based activities, used them in their classrooms, and tracked samples of their students' work.

Teaching American History: Our American Democracy (2010-2013)

In this program, junior high and high school teachers from  New York City's District 12 undertook three separate year-long processes of curriculum development, working in small groups to create two units on major time periods in U.S. history. In addition to mentoring teacher groups in their curriculum development, ASHP/CML staff presented two day-long seminars each year that modeled the use of primary source documents in classroom teaching.

Teaching American History: Queens/Brooklyn (2004-2007)

Teaching American History: A Collaboration Among Teachers, Scholars, and Museums, ASHP/CML’s second Teaching American History program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, served New York City middle and high school social studies teachers in Districts 24, 30, and 32. ASHP/CML continued its partnerships with the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, and Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), and with evaluators from the Education Development Center (EDC).

Teaching American History: Queens/Brooklyn (2005-2009)

For this U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History program, ASHP/CML began a new partnership with the Queens College Department of Secondary Education and Youth Services. ASHP/CML facilitated a series of “Retreats with Historians” and Queens College facilitated a corresponding series of “Retreats with History Educators.” Entitled Teachers and Historians: A Partnership to Enrich Student Knowledge of U.S. History, the program served middle and high school social studies teachers in Districts 24, 30, 32. The program was held jointly with Teaching American Democracy: A Collaboration Between Teachers and Historians. The Education Development Center (EDC) was the evaluator.

Teaching American History: Queens (2005-2009)

Teaching American Democracy: A Collaboration Between Teachers and Historians served middle and high school social studies teachers in Districts 28 and 29. The program was held jointly with Teachers and Historians: A Partnership to Enrich Student Knowledge of U.S. History (see preceding program description).

Teaching American History: Staten Island/Brooklyn (2003-2007)

This faculty development program, entitled Historians and Teachers: A Partnership to Improve Knowledge, Teaching, and Learning in American History, launched ASHP/CML’s Teaching American History programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program served middle and high school social studies teachers in New York City public schools from Districts 20, 21, and 31. ASHP/CML worked with cultural partners from the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, and Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), and with evaluators from the Education Development Center (EDC). In the final year of this program, participants attended ASHP’s Making Connections seminars.