American Historical Association Is Addressing the Needs of Pre-Collegiate History Teachers

I love this idea.  The AHA is developing a new membership status to encourage more secondary teachers to join the ranks of the organization.  As someone who has spent a lot of time with history teachers and future history teachers as a history professor, former AP exam grader (seven years), and a workshop historian with Gilder-Lehrman and Messiah College’s “Teacher as Scholars” program (in addition to my own short stint as an AP U.S. History teacher), I can attest to two things:

1.  History teachers are starving for professional development opportunities.

2.  Academic historians can learn A LOT from history teachers about how to teach.  Some of my most rewarding experiences as a historian came while spending a week sitting at a table in a overly air-conditioned Trinity University gym grading AP exams with teachers.  We need to rub shoulders, share conversation, and learn from the expertise that K-12 teachers bring to the profession.

Read all about the new AHA program here.  Some of the benefits they are considering include:

  • Discounted membership fees for secondary educators (as compared to Individual Membership rates)
  • Travel scholarships to attend the annual meeting
  • Increased number of panels for secondary educators at our annual meeting, including special breakout sessions to discuss how the historical content from the panels can be applied in the classroom
  • Sponsored networking events at the annual meeting
  • Featured articles in AHA outlets that provide reviews of books and textbooks, historiographical debates, and pedagogical news and information
  • Access to online resources, curriculum units, and webinars that highlight the latest historical scholarship
  • Access to online discussion groups that address current pedagogical and content-related issues
  • Facilitated partnerships between secondary educators and university-level faculty to develop resource materials

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