George Mason University has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Education–valued at $7 million if fully funded over five years–to create a National History Education Clearinghouse. The online project, which will be housed in Mason’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM), will focus on historical thinking and learning. It will also help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators and show their students why history is relevant to their daily lives. CHNM will partner in the project with Stanford University, the American Historical Association and the National History Center.
The project will be led by Mason historians Kelly Schrum and Sharon Leon who will manage content research and development, coordinate teacher outreach and direct the design and construction of a new digital center to provide links to the most informative history content on the Internet. Once online, the clearinghouse will provide educators with a host of teaching tools and resources and be a portal through which teachers can share materials related to history.
The clearinghouse will have both on-and offline components. These web and non-web-based resources will be grounded in the latest and most significant scholarship on history and history education, as well as research on best practices in teacher professional development and an awareness of the possibilities and limitations of the digital medium.
The web site will be organized around seven features: history education news, history content, teaching materials, best practices, policy and research, professional development and teaching American history grants. The clearinghouse will also use the latest advances in digital technology to explore key concepts through interactive images, audio clips and videos of classroom teaching and historians discussing primary sources. Offline support will include a yearly conference, a newsletter and an annual report on the state of history education in the United States.