Resources for Teachers

Teaching with #DigHist: Introducing a New Series on Using Digital Projects in the Classroom

In the past two decades historians have entered the digital age, designing a host of exciting projects that use technology to better understand, analyze, and visualize the past. These projects offer outstanding avenues for instructors at every level—from kindergarten to graduate school—to engage their students in the study of the past. This series will examine a wide range of digital projects on subjects that span both the globe and three millennia, and discuss ways to use them in the classroom.

Teaching the End of Empire: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Decolonization

By Jessica Pearson-Patel

In the summer of 2013, I had the incredible fortune to participate in the National History Center’s 8th International Seminar on Decolonization in Washington, DC. I had just received my PhD in history and French studies at New York University and was about to start a postdoc at Tulane University. Although much of the seminar focused on helping participants advance their own research projects on the history of decolonization, I found that some of the most engaging conversations I had with both the seminar faculty and with my fellow participants centered on teaching.

Teaching Environmental History in US and World History Survey Courses

By Allison Frickert-Murashige

Thermohaline circulation, Aedes aegypti, sodium nitrate, and CO2 uptake are all terms that four years ago I would not have envisioned using in my US and world history survey course classrooms. Let’s face it—even though some of us may have a hidden science nerd lurking within—most historians are not formally trained in biological, environmental, climate, and meteorological sciences. Moreover, historians, with our emphasis on human agency, tend to be a bit leery of environmental determinism. And yet, as a participant in the AHA’s three-year program “American History, Atlantic and Pacific,” supported by a grant from the NEH’s Bridging Cultures initiative, I found myself completely hooked by our environmental history presentations.

Making History Relevant to Policymaking: A Classroom Guide on Implementing the Mock Policy Briefing Program

 By Jessica Choppin Roney

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a three-part series of blog posts on the National History Center’s Mock Policy Briefing Program, which Jessica Roney implemented in her course on the history of Philadelphia at Temple University. Part One discussed the rationale and relevance behind incorporating the program in a history classroom, while Part Two offered reflections on the program from students in Roney’s class. The Mock Policy Briefing Program Educator’s Workshop on “Understanding History’s Relevance to Today” will be held in Philadelphia on April 6.

Transforming the US History Survey by Expanding Its Geographical Focus

By Lesley Kawaguchi

The AHA’s Bridging Cultures program, “American History, Atlantic and Pacific,” was geared toward providing an opportunity for community college history faculty to globalize their US history survey courses by engaging with innovative scholarship on the Pacific and Atlantic worlds. It also provided research opportunities at the Huntington Library and the Library of Congress, and culminated in presentations at the 2015 AHA annual meeting.

Making History Relevant to Policymaking: Student Feedback on the NHC’s Mock Policy Briefing Program

By Kyra Chamberlain

This is second in a three-part series of blog posts on the National History Center’s Mock Policy Briefing Program, which Jessica Roney implemented in her course on the history of Philadelphia at Temple University in fall 2015. The students in her course spent a large portion of the semester working together as an entire class to research their mock policy briefing project and to construct a final presentation. At the end of the semester, they offered center staff comments about the program.

Making History Relevant to Policymaking: The NHC’s Mock Policy Briefing Program in History Classrooms

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series of blog posts on the National History Center’s Mock Policy Briefing Program, which Jessica Roney implemented in her course on the history of Philadelphia at Temple University. Part Two will offer reflections on the program from students in Roney’s class, and part three will suggest practical tips for implementing the program and offer teaching resources. The Mock Policy Briefing Program Educator’s Workshop on “Understanding History’s Relevance to Today” will be held in Philadelphia on April 6.