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Hands On History 2.0: The Central Ohio Project

Hands on History 2.0 will involve 50 districts located within seven central Ohio counties, including the Columbus metropolitan area. Thirty-one of these districts have not met their Adequate Yearly Progress goals, and teachers in these schools will be recruited heavily. The program seeks to improve the quality of history education by establishing strong ties between K-12 American history teachers, academic historians, and public historians in Central Ohio. Yearly professional development activities include an orientation meeting/field trip and five 1-day seminars that acquaint teachers with history resources in their region, at least one additional in-region field trip, a week-long summer institute supplemented by online graduate-level course work, ongoing mentoring, and online discussions and access to history education resources. Each year, 32 teachers will participate in the program. Also, eight teachers who have participated in previous Teaching American History programs will be trained as mentors; these mentors will assist in program planning, and each will be responsible for a cohort of four teachers each year. Hands on History 2.0 will connect significant national themes to state and local history and foster an understanding of economic and industrial development as well as population movement and growth. Teachers will learn to incorporate primary source materials into their teaching, to develop students’ critical thinking skills through inquiry-based learning, and to promote self-guided research, examination of evidence, and debate. A program Web site will house teacher-developed unit plans that make use of primary source material and are aligned to the Ohio Academic Content Standards.