SAVANNAH – Educators across Georgia attended a two-day professional development seminar for strategies on teaching challenging history topics.
The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) recently hosted a professional development seminar, “Teaching Challenging Histories in Georgia,” for K-12 educators. At the all-day event, which took place at the GHS Research Center in Savannah, educators from across Georgia were introduced to classroom strategies for having constructive conversations with students regarding difficult historical topics such as slavery, Jim Crow, racial violence, and the Civil Rights Movement.
“Our goal was to better equip educators in how to use original documents and other contemporary evidence in the classroom,” said Dr. Anastacia Scott, Director of Community and Special Projects at the Georgia Historical Society. “Teachers learned from GHS experts some of the best strategies for tackling challenging issues like slavery and segregation while also developing students’ analytical thinking skills.”
Participants in the program engaged in hands-on primary source analysis with materials from the GHS collections, such as newspaper clippings, photographs, and personal correspondence from the 19th and 20th Centuries. They also learned how to better understand Georgia’s rich but complicated history and they attained a fuller picture of Georgia and national histories to better shape student understanding of the present.
“We were able to have very candid conversations about the history of race in Georgia and American history using reflective teaching practices,” said Lisa Landers, GHS Education Manager. “The teachers who participated in this seminar were highly engaged, and they left thinking about how to implement these teaching strategies in their own classrooms. The overall response by the teachers was very positive.”
The Georgia Historical Society provided participants with copies of materials aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence used during the professional development program for use in their classrooms. This included an instructional guide with classroom strategies and high-resolution scans of primary source materials.
“There is no profession more noble or important than teaching history,” said GHS President and CEO Dr. W. Todd Groce. “History is the first building block for civic engagement. It is a unifying, not divisive, concept. Learning and acknowledging the full and honest story of our nation’s past in all its complexity can give us a common identity, purpose, and destiny.”
For more information about the “Teaching Challenging Histories in Georgia” professional development seminar for K-12 educators, please contact Keith Strigaro, Director of Communications, at 912.651.2125, ext. 153 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.