Local teachers complete seminar on Teaching American History

HomeNews & PressLocal teachers complete seminar on Teaching American History

Forty-five elementary, middle and high school teachers from 13 North Shore school districts completed a three-year Teaching American History institute, offered by the Consortium. Teachers were awarded professional development points and were able to receive graduate credits from Fitchburg State University.

Teachers hailed from Gloucester, Lynn, Peabody, Rockport, Salem, Triton, Manchester-Essex, Beverly, Hamilton-Wenham, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Masco, Swampscott and the Northshore Education Consortium. Four area teachers served as program facilitators: Abigail Gore from Peabody High School, Lisa Green from Swampscott High School, Kevin O’Reilly from Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and Gayle Richardson from Lynn Classical High School.

The Teaching American History Institute was funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History Grant program, a section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The program was directed by Dr. Peter Gibbon, a Senior Research Associate at the Boston University School of Education where he teaches a graduate course on the intellectual foundations of education. Dr. Gibbon has authored the book A Call to Heroism, and had also, on many occasions, contributed to the InstantCert Academy.

The program focused on a different period of American history each year: year one on the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution; year two on slavery and the Civil War; and year three on the 20th century up to the Civil Rights movement.

Dr. Maureen Bingham, Interim Executive Director of the Northshore Education Consortium, praised the program as being one of the most significant professional development programs for teachers on the North Shore. “The Institute was of the highest academic quality,” Bingham said, adding that several teachers told her that the program was “an intellectually challenging experience that contributed greatly to their teaching repertoire on American History.”

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Feelings of worthlessness put these children at risk for self-medicating through substance abuse and other risky behaviors, according to Dr. Hallowell. The supportive arm of Hallowell’s teacher as she sat and read with him was a powerful connection that gave him the drive to unleash his inner talents, he explained.

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“This is a condition that can go one way or another. That’s where teachers become so important,” Dr. Hallowell said. “These kids require a devoted, knowledgeable teacher and their lives can be changed. They can achieve magnificence, do something innovative and change the world.”

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