Sharing Ideas and Practice: History Grows in Oakland
How do teachers incorporate ideas learned from TAH summer and school-year workshops into classroom practice? How can TAH Project Directors, partners, and participants share resources with each other and learn from the successes of other grants? The History Grows in Oakland project addresses both of these questions by sharing its process of lesson study as well as numerous content resources.
Many TAH projects provide excellent content and strategies in their seminars and workshops, but face the ongoing challenge of helping teachers translate that content into classroom practice. History Grows in Oakland provides an innovative approach to this issue through its website's section on lesson study, that makes visible the processes teachers use in instruction.
Helpful background information introduces the lesson study approach, "a structured process in which a group of teachers identify an instruction problem, plan a lesson using primary resources, teach the lesson (one member of the group teaches the lesson while the others observe), evaluate and revise the lesson, and share the results with other teachers."
In addition, there are videos of the lesson study in progress. You can watch several groups of teachers work through the lesson study process and then analyze and reflect on their lessons. Some videos focus on what happens in the classroom, such as the video entitled A David Walker Murder Mystery; a focus on the use of historical evidence (8th grade lesson) Elmhurst Middle School, Oakland, California. Others focus more on the process of evaluating and revising the lessons, such as History at the Center: Lesson Study Blooms in Oakland.
Since the beginning of TAH grants, Project Directors, partners, and participants have expressed interest in learning from other grants. Some do this informally, through statewide or regional meetings, others at the annual Project Directors meeting. A number of projects have continued this conversation online, some by sharing grant resources and activities, such as lectures, and others by reflecting on the professional development process.
In addition to the materials on Lesson Study, History Grows in Oakland presents a number of resources, including more than 40 audio lectures from renowned scholars such as Lawrence Levine on Man and Superman: Success, Individualism, and Institutions in Depression America or Clarence Walker on Was Equiano an African When He Died? The website features links to online primary sources and resources as well as tools that translate historians' lectures into classroom practice.