By Joseph Pratt
Several Ohio teachers recently participated in an immersing learning experience of Texas that they will be carrying with them into the classrooms this year. One of the teachers to participate included West Portsmouth High School’s Carolyn Callihan.
The Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center and the American Institute of History Education partner to provide the study, which has been expanding the knowledge of American history for teachers in ten school districts for five years.
The goal of these studies is to immerse teachers into comprehensive lessons and involve them in personal interactions with the subject material so the educators acquire a deep, meaningful understanding of the subject matter.
Throughout the school year, the participating teachers attend four local workshops featuring nationally recognized content experts and history scholars. The skilled instructors engage the teachers in a rich study of historical events and policies, as well as research-based teaching methods.
During the summer, following the workshops, the teachers take part in field studies that allow them to extend their knowledge and gain an up-close and personal view of important historical people, places, events, and issues.
Dr. Denise Shockley, superintendent of the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center, said that she is proud of the work accomplished and is impressed with the level of dedication shown by all of the participants.
“Each year, I ask the teachers how the workshops and field study experiences are going to impact their classroom teaching,” Shockley said. “It is evident by their responses that students directly benefit from teachers experiencing the content and landmarks of our nation’s history.”
The 2015 field study took teachers to The Lone Star State, with a focus on comparing and contrasting the administrations of three former presidents via visits to each of their respective Presidential Libraries.
In Austin, Texas, the teachers experienced elements of President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, through interactive exhibits and archived documents.
On the west campus of the Texas A&M University in College Station, the teachers examined records and artifacts of President George H.W. Bush, to increase their understanding of the nation’s history.
In Dallas, teachers explored the collections and exhibits of the presidency of George W. Bush, including the 9/11 museum.
The tours of the libraries and museums helped the teachers recognize the gravity and magnitude of the responsibilities of the leaders of the United States of America.
The teachers were also exposed to various other sites and experiences significant in the past and present of our nation during their visit to Texas. One of these highlights included the San Antonio River Walk, which led teachers to the site of the Battle of the Alamo.
Other Texas places of interest for the teachers included the Tower of the Americas, the Old Red Museum, Mission San Jose, and the Spanish Governor’s Palace.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.