Stanford to share $7M for history Web site

Stanford University today announced a $7 million award from the U.S. Department of Education, to be shared with Virginia's George Mason University, to develop a virtual “Clearinghouse for History Education.''

The goal of the project is to help teachers become more effective in educating K-12 students about why history is relevant.

“This collaboration puts Stanford on the map as the address for history education in the United States, if not for North America and beyond,'' Stanford education professor Sam Wineburg, one of the project's leaders, said. “With this clearinghouse, the federal government has recognized the absolutely central role that history plays in creating literate citizenry, poised to face the challenges of the future with knowledge and intelligence.''

The centerpiece of the five-year award will be the development of a website where history teachers will be able to find a wide range of resources, from original texts to strategies for using the texts in the classroom. The first part of the project should be online by the end of the year.

“This multimedia website will make available materials that will help teachers make history come alive for students and foster their understanding of history as an active process of inquiry and analysis rather than facts to remember,'' Stanford School of Education Dean Deborah Stipek said.

The project is based on a 2005 collaboration between Wineburg and George Mason University history professor Roy Rosenzweig found at http://historicalthinkingmatters.org.

That website, funded by a $500,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, focuses on key topics in U.S. History after the Civil War.

— Bay City News

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