SHIFT: Seeing History in Focus Together
Located in the Atlanta metro area, this district's students are predominantly minority, ethnically and linguistically diverse, and from low-income families. Twenty-five of its 125 schools are in need of improvement. SHIFT participants will interact with respected historians at annual kick-off events, through two hybrid graduate-level courses each year, and during annual summer academies located at historical sites. Teachers will have funding to gather resources for their classroom libraries during field experiences and will receive other resources during SHIFT activities. The project will serve five cohorts of 30 teachers each, with teachers coming from all school levels and each cohort participating for two years. SHIFT will explore a variety of themes, including interactions of peoples, cultures, and ideas; change and continuity in American democracy; and the changing role of America in the world. Instructional strategies will focus on applying thoughtful exploration and critical analysis to understand history, and on making history an engaging, immersive, and relevant academic subject. Teachers will reflect, collaborate, and refer to the SHIFT blueprint for guidance on building an ideal classroom environment for history teaching and learning. Teachers who complete the professional development will have classroom libraries with multimedia resources, an expanded repertoire of teaching practices, deeper content knowledge, and collegial relationships that will support their future practice.