The Collaborative for Educational Services Professional Development Department launched the Emerging America program in 2006 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Program. We support K-12 teachers of History with high quality workshops and courses in-person (in New England) and online. We also advance civics and service-learning projects, build exemplary online exhibits, and post resources and information to this website and social media. Free online resources include exemplary lesson plans, primary source sets, assessments and other classroom activities and tools, a weekly History eNews resource blast, the Emerging America blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Current major programs are described below.
In 2010 the Collaborative joined the TPS Consortium, providing free workshops and courses in Massachusetts to support inquiry-based use of primary sources, featuring the vast collections of the Library of Congress. Topics range across U.S. and World History, Geography, Science, and English Language Arts. Programs emphasize strategies to support struggling learners. Drawing on the expertise of classroom teachers, and with contributions from specialists in Special Education and English Language Learning, CES posts a wide variety of exemplary lessons, primary source sets, and other resources in our Teacher Resources Library.
Due to a lack of background knowledge and discipline-specific as well as general academic vocabulary, struggling learners often have great difficulty with history. Such students may include Special Education students, English Learners, Court-Involved youth, Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learners. Building on the Collaborative’s experience with struggling learners, Emerging America offers courses and online resources to help teachers to support these students.
Western Massachusetts Writing Project is a professional community of teachers who value reflection and inquiry; who care about issues of race, gender, language, class, and culture; who come together to deepen our experience as writers, to share our knowledge and expertise, to transform our practice, to improve student learning, and to develop expertise and leadership. Western Massachusetts Writing Project Content Literacy Leadership Project describes a path for civic engagement leadership specifically for history and social studies teachers, as well as for teachers of science and of other disciplines.
As they investigate topics in local history, students learn to see connections with national events and stories, and to build interpretations of the past that are guided by careful critical questioning. Together, students, teachers, and community partners create websites to share their discoveries with audiences beyond the classroom.