Our Final Year Has Just Begun

We’ve had a great 5 years. Nearly 30 teachers have earned, or are in the process of earning, master’s degrees in History, more than 3,000 community members have attended Chautauquas, and nearly countless students have benefited from teachers with enhanced understandings of history. Yes, it’s been a great time.

Now, we’re entering our 6th and final year. Two goals will frame nearly everything we do during the year.

Primary Goal for the Year: All actively participating teachers in the two master’s cohorts will finish their master’s degrees.

To achieve this goal, we’re stepping up our contact with, and supporting activities for, teachers working on finishing coursework and theses. We will have “working retreats” and  one-on-one support from our consultants and professors, among other strategies. We also have a “big carrot” to help encourage teachers to finish: a week-long, expense-paid trip to colonial sites in Virginia.

Secondary Goal for the Year: Understand the degree to which TAH has raised teacher knowledge and affected student learning.

Last year, we piloted a process to gauge the differences in student knowledge among TAH-teachers’ and non-TAH-teachers’ students. This year, all members of the second master’s cohort will participate. We need to report reasonably valid findings to the federal office regarding the effect funding has had on student achievement.

Additionally, all participants in the master’s cohorts took the SAT-history upon entry into the program. They also completed a knowledge survey of various periods in U.S. history. Now, we’ll do the post-tests to see whether they have gains in knowledge as measured by these two assessments.

Other Plans

Overall, I’m expecting a full, but enjoyable, year for TAH participants, not only the members of the master’s cohorts but also other teachers whom we have included along the way. Other than coursework / theses-related activities, the year will include

  • 2 mini-institutes (We’re thinking about institutes on the Korean Conflict (1950 – 1953) and Creating an American Empire (1890 – 1920)
  • 2 brief trips to local historically sites (possibly the Los Alamos area for the development of “the bomb” and nuclear energy and the Santa Fe area for early settlement and culture of New Mexico)
  • 7 Chautauquas featuring a wide variety of performances (see here for the full schedule)

Yes, it’s going to be a good year.

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