North State History Teachers' Learning Collaborative
The three rural California counties involved in this project often combine resources to provide teacher professional development, and this project will build teachers' content knowledge and help them learn to think like historians. Annual activities will include two symposia, during which historians and teachers will explore content, primary sources and lesson study practices. Four live, online seminars will bring scholars and teachers together to discuss historical questions. With support from content experts, teams of like-grade teachers will use lesson study to develop lessons based on the content. The year will end with a summer field study that augments the scholarly studies, and the next year will begin with a late-summer institute focused on scholarship and pedagogy. Each year, 35 teachers will participate, and increasing stipends will encourage multiple years of training. Years 1 to 3 will address eras taught by secondary teachers, and Years 4 and 5 will present content tied to elementary standards, but teachers will be welcome to join as openings are available. Working with teachers of different levels will encourage thinking about cross-grade connections. Teachers will explore California's gateways to the national narrative during field visits to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Historians and scholars will introduce historical thinking skills, such as deconstructing primary sources, and will help teachers see unifying themes in the state's history standards. The project model of blended in-person and online activities is designed to ensure advance preparation and active participation, while directing the focus to improved teaching practice; ongoing formative assessment will help project leaders adjust activities if necessary.