Department of Education and Outreach
The Education & Outreach team combines the best of what the museum has to offer with best practices in 21st century education to deliver free K-12 learning resources nationwide. We design and produce a wide variety of teacher professional development workshops and digital learning resources – from short YouTube videos to complex mobile app games, websites, webinars, and electronic field trips.
The Education & Outreach team approaches American history as an active pursuit, much like science or mathematics. Once basic skills and habits of mind are established, one must “do history” to fully grasp its relevance to contemporary life. Social studies as a subject, helps students understand how people interact with each other and the world…in the past, today, and in the future. When students and teachers “do history” together they practice the type of critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration skills set forth in the P21 Framework and by the National Council for the Social Studies.
Smithsonian’s History Explorer: Through a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation and the guidance of our Teacher Advisory Group, we built Smithsonian’s History Explorer, the Museum’s online portal for K-12 educators. The site helps teachers find hundreds of free, standards-based social-studies resources designed and produced by the National Museum of American History. New online resources are launched regularly throughout the year.
The A. James Clark Excellence in History Teaching Program: A program of nationwide Let’s Do History Tour workshops and museum-based Teach It Forward institutes that provide thousands of teachers in underserved school districts with the skills, resources, and tools they need to “do” history with their students using objects, people-centered stories, and dialog.
The National Youth Summits: in partnership with NEH, WGBH, WETA, SI Affiliates, and others, we provide opportunities for middle and high school students across the country to join together electronically in conversation with people who helped shape history, as well as historians and filmmakers. Previous topics have included: Freedom Summer, The Dust Bowl, Abolition of Slavery, and the Greensboro Sit-Ins.
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