Who is eligible for this program?
The Emerging America: Teaching American History program serves public and private school teachers in Massachusetts. Secondary social studies teachers as well as elementary teachers who teach history. Teachers from other disciplines are welcome. We mainly serve licensed K-12 teachers with current positions in Massachusetts schools. Others, including teacher education students, may participate on a space available basis (it usually is). Only licensed, practicing teachers may receive stipends. If any event should fill, we will give preference to Collaborative members (i.e. schools in Hampshire and Franklin Counties) and other school districts that are partners in this grant (Central Berkshire, Holyoke, Hampden-Wilbraham, Ludlow, Monson, North Adams, Pittsfield, and Sabis International Charter School).
I don’t teach at either a CES member district or a grant partner district. Will I be able to sign up and when will I know if there is room for me?
Due to the requirements for our grant, we must give first priority to teachers in grant partner districts or CES member districts. We do not expect to fill up with teachers from those districts, so the most important thing is to get your registration form in to us as soon as possible. Our deadline for registration is May 18th, so we can tell you if you made it into the program after this date.
What does the program cost?
Thanks to a Teaching American History Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, this program is free, including books and lunch during all-day programs. The only cost is for those who choose to register for graduate credit with Fitchburg State University at a cost of $275 for three credits.
Why do you require a deposit?
To ensure that registrants are truly committed, we require a $50 deposit check. We do not deposit the check. We return it to you if you attend the summer program.
I want to sign up for the Learn and Earn option, but I will not be able to attend the kickoff session. Can I still participate?
Yes, although it will be easier for you to attend the kickoff session, we understand that things come up that cannot be rescheduled. If you cannot attend the kickoff, please contact Rich Cairn or Suzanne Judson-Whitehouse as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements.
Is the Learn and Earn stipend taxable?
Yes: The Learn and Earn stipends are taxable as self-employment income. Please consult your tax adviser if you have further questions.
What are the writing assignments?
There are three Summer writing assignments:
- Brief research notes from four hours on-site at a local archive
- Lesson plan using local primary sources
- Lesson for a community-based experience, such as developing a web site using local sources. See the Windows on History program on this website, field trip, or a speakers series.
Does my written work have to be on the colloquium topics?
Yes, your lesson plan must connect in some way to one or more of the colloquium topics. We suggest that you visit a local archive or museum first to identify local primary sources that address topics that you teach. In cases where there isn’t a clear connection between the summer content and what you teach during the school year, we are open to creative interpretations of the topics. For example, someone taking the session on the Women’s Movement during the Summer 2013 TAH Program could propose a lesson on women’s work in the valley. Someone who teachers U.S. History II could look at the involvement of a local person in the Spanish American War for example, and draw on themes of resistance and rebellion discussed in one or more of the sessions.
Where do I go to find a local archive?
If you have never before done archival research, we urge you to consider a staffed archive such as one of our project partners. See the project partner page for a list.
Can I just download primary sources from the internet?
No. You must visit an actual archive. If it is a new experience, we urge you to consider a staffed archive such as one of our project partners (see the project partner page). It is an essential experience for any teacher of history. All of our participants have rated this experience quite highly. That said, we encourage you to also use the internet to support your research into your topic, provide background information or to find primary sources in addition to ones you have identified in the local archive.
What are the assignments for graduate credit?
All participants do graduate level work (and earn a corresponding level of PDPs or credits), so the assignments are the same whether you register for graduate credit or not. Graduate students receive a letter grade as well as written feedback.
Do I have to implement the community-based experience?
It is optional, though we strongly encourage it! Indeed, we fund 10-12 projects each year to implement their project during the school year. (Receive a $1,000 stipend, up to $250 in expenses, and extensive technical support.) Your written plan can serve as your application.