American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Who Built America: Badges for History Education

Who Built America Badges for History Education is an online professional learning community where teachers can earn digital badges and professional development hours as they practice and master the skills of effective history teaching. Designed for U.S. history teachers in Grades 7 through 12 and based on ASHP/CML’s proven professional development methods and social history content, the program links professional learning directly to classroom practice and gives teachers a way to represent their professional learning to others. Creating, using, and reflecting on high quality, practical materials is at the core of WBA’s professional learning process.

WBA Badges are grounded in models of instructional design that combine engaging historical content, historical thinking practices, and Common Core literacy skills. Participants immerse themselves in tutorials that help them consider how instructional design choices can support student mastery of key historical thinking and literacy concepts. After they complete these tutorials, teachers can earn badges by working with ASHP/CML educators to design and teach their own classroom lessons. They can also undertake a process of studying a model WBA Inquiry Unit, teaching it, reflecting on the resulting student work, and revising the unit for future classroom use, all with expert guidance and feedback from ASHP/CML.

Created in collaboration with Sean Oakes StudiosElectric Funstuff, and Education Development Center/Center for Children and TechnologyWho Built America Badges for History Education is funded through the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition, held in collaboration with Mozilla, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and administered by HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory).