Engaged Learning Experiences in History and Social Science (ELEHSS)

Project Period:  July 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013

Target Audience:  History and Social Science Teachers, Grades 4-8

Funding Source:  State Council for Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) – Title funds from US. Dept. of Ed

Funding Amount: $113,547

Engaged Learning Experiences in History and Social Science (ELEHSS) is a collaborative partnership between Longwood College of Education and Human Services, College of Arts and Sciences, Longwood Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP), Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium (SVRTC), Brunswick, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward and Chesterfield school divisions.  The partnership will develop a comprehensive teacher professional development model to transform history and social science teaching and learning in grades 4-8 classrooms.

As active members of a professional learning community, teachers will participate in a week-long professional development in summer 2012 on research-based instructional strategies in teaching history and social science content (history, Virginia studies, civics, geography, and economics) to improve student achievement not only in content and discipline-specific skills, but also in reading and writing.  In fall 2012, teachers will  participate in a three-credit online course on integrating 21st century skills and tools in history and social science classes and receive follow-up during the school year in the form of classroom visits, an online learning community, and literacy webinars on integrating  reading and writing across the curriculum.  In enhancing the pedagogical and technological knowledge, professional development will focus on the integration of the Understanding by Design unit design, concept-level objective setting, inquiry-based learning strategies, and technology tools of inquiry to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Teachers will receive stipends and three graduate credits for completing all activities, including development and implementation of two units of instruction and presenting their digital portfolio with student artifacts at a Saturday summit in early summer 2013. In addition to twenty-four history and social science teachers, regional instructional leaders will also be targeted for additional professional development.  Partnering school divisions have agreed to support the teachers with curriculum implementation in their classrooms.  This professional development project expects the following outcomes: 1) Improve the quality of 24 grades 4-8 history and social science teachers by increasing their content knowledge and stimulating their sustained use of technology-infused, inquiry-based pedagogies; 2) Create, assess, and refine exemplary inquiry-based instructional modules for distribution based on the understanding by design framework; and 3) Evaluate the impact of the professional development on student achievement in history and social science.

Teachers participated in this course in June 2012 with a face-to-face week-long session at Longwood University, led by Dr. Locascio.  An 3 credit online course in Fall 2012 will focus on including technology in the classroom and creating unit plans.

Related Resources

Recruitment: Teacher
Articles: ITTIP July 2012 NewsletterITTIP October 2012 NewsletterITTIP June 2013 Newsletter
Lessons:  ELEHSS, Curriculum Guide