New Resource Available to Support Internationalization of US History Curricula

Nov 18, 2014

by Caitlin Haugen

Educators can now take advantage of a new free, online, self-paced, professional development (PD) opportunity to help them globalize history curricula.  Globalizing the US History Survey allows participants to infuse their courses with global perspectives while gaining experience, contributing to a collaborative knowledge base, and receiving continuing education credits through the National Council for History Education (NCHE).

The PD is designed like a course, and is comprised of five content modules – each one spanning a different period of history.  Participants complete a series of activities that include viewing video presentations from experts, developing lesson plans, engaging on social media, and contributing to collaborative discussions and activities.  Craig Perrier - who discusses the course on GTE's blog -  developed the PD course with the support of NCHE and a grant from the Longview Foundation.  Over a dozen educators provided extensive feedback on the modules before the program launched. 

Perrier argues that this model is different from traditional professional development. In order to maintain licensure, districts provide educators with course offerings, and teachers participate in those opportunities on isolated days. Most often, they are one-sided and do not allow for collaboration.  “This project allows participants to individualize and personalize.”  They can also participate on their own time and at their own pace – Perrier states that each module takes about six hours to complete.  Interested educators may receive a certificate from NCHE upon completion of the modules.

While designed for in-service teachers and K-12 curriculum development specialists, Perrier notes it is also a relevant resource for teacher preparation programs. “Teacher educators can use this to support general methods or social studies methods courses,” he notes.  Perrier suggests pre-service teachers can submit a lesson plan as an assignment.  They can also, he states, “choose a module and review it, then reflect on how the material contributed or challenged their conceptualizations of what it takes to globalize history curricula. Pre-service teachers can also refer to it as a resource once they get into the classroom.”