American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

September 2007

Mission America Takes Off

In 2005, ASHP/CML collaborated with New York’s public television station Thirteen/WNET on a proposal for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting entitled Mission America. This summer we learned that Mission America was one of seven interactive multimedia projects selected for funding among eighty-eight proposals. On July 30, 2007 ASHP/CML along with other Mission America partners (including Electric Funstuff, a Manhattan-based software developer, and the Education Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology, a leader in educational research) went to Washington, D.C., to give an in-person presentation to CPB and to meet other award recipients. The current funding is to develop a prototype of an interactive adventure video game with related media resources that targets middle school learners. In Fall 2008, this prototype will be field tested and submitted as a part of a proposal for additional funding to complete Mission America. CPB expects to select three projects for full funding. Work on Mission America is well underway. ASHP/CML is guiding content development and defining learning objectives for the project. The “Mad Tea Party” prototype will feature a young printer’s apprentice who must decide what role he will play in the Boston Tea Party- and then in the coming Revolution!

New Teaching American History Faculty Development Program

ASHP/CML is embarking on a new professional development program in the New York City public schools funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History initiative. This three-year program will serve K-12 social studies teachers in Queens and Brooklyn who teach students who are English Language Learners. ASHP/CML will explore historical content with teachers through primary source materials, scholar presentations, and model inquiry-based lessons. Faculty from project partners at the Queens College Department of Education and LaGuardia Community College will work with teachers to develop pedagogical strategies and adapt primary source materials for their English Language Learner students.

Coming Soon: Who Built America? Third Edition

Who Built America? Third Edition

In December 2007, Bedford/St. Martin’s Press will publish the third edition of Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History. This new edition retains the original’s distinctive interpretation and strong point of view. We continue to tackle controversial issues and offer opinions that are sometimes critical of celebrated figures or dominant beliefs. For this edition, we have taken account of the vast outpouring of recent scholarship to explore more deeply the histories of American Indians, Spanish-speaking peoples, women, the West, and the social and economic impact of globalization. To make the book’s information more manageable for students, we have retained a strong chronological focus while also including additional section titles and standardizing chapter lengths. This edition of Who Built America? also contains more “Voices” in each chapter, excerpts from letters, diaries, autobiographies, poems, songs, journalism, fiction, official testimony, oral histories, and other historical documents. The two-volume textbook was authored by Christopher Clark, Nancy Hewitt, Roy Rosenzweig, and Nelson Lichtenstein, with Joshua Brown and David Jaffee serving as visual editors, Ellen Noonan and Pennee Bender as supervising editors, and Steve Brier as executive editor.

Young America in Sweden

Young America in Sweden
Attending the conference dinner are (left to right) historians Cecilia O’Leary, Tony Platt, Linda Gordon, Vincent DiGirolamo, and ASHP/CMLers Andrea Vasquez and Pennee Bender.

With funding from a professional development grant from the Professional Staff Congress, Pennee Bender and Andrea Ades Vasquez participated in the biennial conference of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth (SHCY). The conference was hosted by The Center for the Study of Childhood of Linkoping University and held in Norrkoping, Sweden, on June 27-30, 2007. As part of a panel on teaching the history of childhood, Andrea and Pennee presented a paper and demonstrated the prototype of the website, Young America: Experiences of Youth in U.S. History. Recognizing the need to get an international perspective of U.S. history, we were pleased to have the opportunity to share our work-in-progress with teachers from around the world. We received valuable feedback from scholars in the field, many of whom offered to test the prototype in their classrooms.

SCHY is an international organization whose members study the history of children and youth in all periods of history. “In the Name of the Child: The Social and Cultural History of Children and Youth” was its fourth biennial conference, the first held in Europe. Keynote speakers were Hugh Cunningham, University of Kent, and Linda Gordon, New York University.