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American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

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Who Built America?

ASHP/CML's award-winning textbook, Who Built America? is currently being expanded and developed into a free, online fourth edition.  The Who Built America? textbook and the primary documents and multimedia from History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web  are the foundation of the new open educational resource (OER) work. Intended for classroom use and general audiences, the OER is designed to reshape the way U.S. history is taught and learned.

Documentaries

Our ten award-winning documentaries explore the central role of working women and men in U.S. history. These accessible and exciting programs have withstood the test of time and continue to engage students in middle school through college level classes. Each documentary has a downloadable Viewer’s Guide that is written for student readers. It introduces the main topics, events, and composite characters that help to dramatize the historical themes in many of the programs.

Teaching + Learning

Since 1989, the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning has worked with grade 7—12 and college instructors in professional development seminars in New York City and around the country. We offer materials ranging from ASHP/CML’s books, documentaries, and websites to carefully selected primary source materials. And collaboration is key: among teachers, CUNY faculty partners, and local museums. Our work with teachers emphasizes:

Brooklyn/Staten Island 2007-08 Schedule: Becoming American

Historical Understandings for Becoming American:

  • Debates over immigration centered on the tension between the need for labor and anxiety over immigrants’ political, racial, and cultural qualifications for citizenship
  • Immigrants used a variety of strategies to survive in new circumstances and challenge discrimination

Colonial New York

October 22, 2007 at the Brooklyn Museum

Reading: “The Island,” from Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: T

Teaching American History

“Professional development in practice, not just in name.” That’s how one teacher described our Teaching American History professional development seminars and summer institutes. Since 2003, ASHP/CML has 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.

Investigating U.S. History

Stamp ActHistory faculty from across the 17 City University of New York campuses created and classroom-tested these twelve teaching modules, guided by historian David Jaffee with assistance from ASHP/CML. The inquiry-based activities feature online archival materials such as presidential audiotape excerpts, 1930s photographs and folk music, and nineteenth-century religious tracts.

Uncovering the Five Points: Evidence from a New York City Immigrant Neighborhood

Uncovering the Five PointsDuring the antebellum era, New York City’s Five Points was an immigrant district notorious for poverty and crime. This searchable database contains information about the neighborhood drawn from the 1855 New York state census, data that paints a more complex portrait of its working-class residents.

Visit Uncovering the Five Points: fivepoints.ashp.cuny.edu

Contact Us

We invite any questions or comments you may have about our work or website. If you have questions about specific programs please email us. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, phone numbers will be inactive until further notice.

General Inquiries - David Scheckel, 212-817-1980

Internships – Donna Thompson Ray, 212-817-1963

Brooklyn/Staten Island 2006-07 Schedule: Defining and Redefining Democracy

The Problem of Equality in the American Revolution

October 26, 2006 at Petrides Education Complex

Reading: “Reaching the Climax, 1774-1776″ from Gary B. Nash, The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America (2005)

Scholar Talk: “The Problem of Equality in the American Revolution,” Jan Lewis (Rutgers University)

Brooklyn/Staten Island 2008—09 Schedule: America at War

Historical Understandings for Becoming American:

  • Debates over immigration centered on the tension between the need for labor and anxiety over immigrants’ political, racial, and cultural qualifications for citizenship
  • Immigrants used a variety of strategies to survive in new circumstances and challenge discrimination

Colonial New York

October 22, 2007 at the Brooklyn Museum

Reading: “The Island,” from Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: T

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