NCPTT’s Heritage Education Program uses cultural resources to develop life-long learning in k-12 students. The program’s products support local curriculum standards, national education standards and the goals of No Child Left Behind. The National Center’s Heritage Education program partners with National Park Service units, other heritage resources, k-12 schools, and teacher training colleges and universities.
Preservation Trades High School Curriculum Summit
Christine Faith, Heritage Education coordinator drafted, submitted and guided for approval a cooperative agreement with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) to capture best practices from the Randolph Vocation and Technical School in Detroit. The cooperative agreement required MHPN to host a national meeting with professional trades workers and professional educators to create a framework for supporting trades education programs in vocational schools across the country. The Randolph School model has the potential to implement trades training in high school vocational programs with little resistance.
The two-day workshop and one day public meeting component of the agreement took place on March 13-15. A pattern for program implementation emerged from the workshop portion, and was further refined during the public meeting. Final deliverables from the information gathered at the three day summit include draft recommendations for trades training implementation in vocational high schools, a publication and an increased web presence.
Heritage Education: Integrating Place Based Learning Tel Event
Preparations are under way for a Tel Event scheduled for May 6. Beth Boland of the Heritage Education Services office in Washington D.C. has been invited to join the broadcast and will make an excellent addition. The content for the broadcast looks for ways to partner with k-12 educators to bring Heritage Education opportunities to young learners.
Phase 1 of the Community Connections project began on Dec. 1 and is completed. In this phase, a review of the research both on what is currently available in the field and learning pedagogy in this area was investigated. Research indicated that little exists to link teachers to their communities through interactions with local people and places. Educational research indicates that students learn best when they anchor their knowledge with their sense of place through their families, schools and community. The components of the project would include this knowledge in the project. Additionally, the educational team for the project was put in place. The team includes an editor and formatter, graphic designer, and team members at determined sites to pilot the curriculum.
Phase 2 is progressing rapidly. Community Connections will center the activities around an Interviewing Thread. In addition, there will be other threads available for teachers to use. These include photos, food, poetry, timelines, interviewing, time capsules, service learning, and celebrations. The pilot program is in Crowley, La. Contacts have been made with Rich Groves in Liberty, Mo.; Kristen Cady in Augusta, Maine; Caroline Yee in Oakland, Calif.; and Tim Dalton in Kinnewick, Wash. Not all of these will decide to work on the project, so we will continue to search for locations until four more around the nation have officially determined to do the activities.
Agrarian Plantation Curriculum
NCPTT’s Heritage Education Agrarian Curriculum has been finished. The curriculum has been completed, approved, and formatted for posting to NCPTT’s web site. This curriculum was developed previously, but was not ready to disseminate publicly. Well over 30 documents were recreated in digital format and integrated into a single document. Photographs were recaptured, drawings were painstakingly retouched for better clarity and numerous documents were created from scratch. In addition to being posted on the web, this curriculum will also be cross-loaded to the handheld computers that are part of the Heritage Education Digital Traveling Trunk.
Social Media Emphasis
NCPTT is using social media as a method for making our products and service more accessible to the public. In addition, there are opportunities in social media to establish a presence for a particular discipline. Heritage education currently has a poor showing on search engines and does not appear in any “wiki’s.” NCPTT has established a wiki account with PB wiki, a wiki creation site for educators.
Another avenue of social media being explored by Heritage Education is the use of Second Life as an instruction tool for teachers to use in the classroom to teach heritage education, and also to train teachers in heritage education. Second Life has capabilities far beyond what the “real world” allows and as such, opportunities for teacher training are far reaching. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has an island in Second Life, where they are leasing space. Preliminary research has taken place and secondary research is in progress. Christine Faith is a member of ISTE and will attending their conference in July to further explore the concept of using Second Life for teacher training.
Teacher Training Webinar
The Heritage Education program at NCPTT has a strong interest in teacher training. With a national scope, this mission can be daunting due to volume and cost. To that end, the National Center is pursuing the use of “webinars” to train teachers. Instructors have been identified with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The University of Michigan has expressed interest in supporting this project, with the possibility of hosting the course to allow teachers to earn college credit for the taking the “webinar.” This is a crucial point; hosting the course for credit virtually guarantees that teachers who take the “webinar” will earn Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s) for the course. Without the ability to earn CEC’s, many teachers would not make taking the course a priority. John Leeke, a preservation trades social media pioneer has also been contacted for assistance with this project.
Northwestern State University Undergraduate Student Researcher Grant
A proposal has been submitted to Northwestern State University for funds to support an intern in Heritage Education. This intern would develop and deploy a marketing campaign for the Heritage Education Digital Traveling Trunk (HEDTT). The campaign would include traditional marketing and social media. Successful completion of the campaign would be measured by five schools receiving, using and returning the HEDTT, accompanied by the products developed by the students while using this resource.
Web page enhancements: Capital Gains and Losses
The final showcase project for the NCPTT Heritage Ed web page, Capital Gains and Losses, has recently been posted to the site. This project serves as an excellent example of heritage education possibilities when teachers are able to include field trips into their school year schedules. This particular project illustrates how to connect students with history, their community and technology.