During the American Civil War, General Benjamin Butler so appreciated the heroic actions of African American soldiers
Bring the Smithsonian to Your School District
The Smithsonian's Let's Do History Tour brings Museum staff to school districts nationwide to share effective, exciting teaching techniques and K-12 resources free of charge. We also help with substitute teacher costs. Interested?
In this blog post, Mark Moore from the West Virginia Department of Education describes his experience bringing the Let's Do History Tour to his state.
An independent evaluation (with survey responses from 1000+ teachers) indicated the program cleared one of the most important hurdles of professional development and outreach: getting teachers excited. Moreover, the study revealed that teachers successfully translated the workshop experience into classroom practice, with 93% of participants using session resources or strategies at least once a month in the classroom, and plan to continue to do so. Over half shared ideas with colleagues and collaborated with colleagues on lessons.
Independent evaluation also found:
- 98% of participants said their pre-stated goals for the workshop had been achieved.
- 93% said the workshop was valuable for rethinking teaching practices.
- 100% said they are more energized and confident about using objects and primary sources in the classroom.
- 100% said they are likely to encourage others to teach with objects or Museum resources.
- 98% said they are more likely to develop interdisciplinary lessons with colleagues around primary sources and object-based learning.
Positive findings on the program were consistent across grade levels, and included not just social studies teachers but also English, science, art teachers, and more, as well as coaches, librarians, and other resource teachers.
For past Let's Do History Tour participants, you can find workshop resources at this link in addition to on the provided USB drives.