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Questions or comments? Please contact Sandra Dzija in the Office of Institutional Advancement at dzija@umbc.edu or (410) 455-2210. 
 
Freeman Hrabowski on Educating Teachers, Teaching Educators

Power Surge: UMBC's Center for History Education

UMBC has long been an innovator in preparing students to become teachers. More than 30 years ago, UMBC became one of the first schools in the country to require its education students to have an academic major along with teacher training, a practice that now is considered the “gold standard” in the field. UMBC’s education department is also among a select group of programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the national accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

UMBC faculty in a number of departments across campus also are engaged in new, creative approaches to teaching, working directly with teachers and schools and, in particular, enriching the teachers’ knowledge of their subjects and enhancing the resources available to them. UMBC’s Center for History Education is one of the University’s most ambitious efforts.

Through two $1 million grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for History Education is working with more than 200 area teachers, bringing them back to UMBC for summer graduate study, assigning them master teachers as mentors, and arming them with new resources—including Web-based technology—to reinvigorate their classrooms.

“History teachers have been left without the support of the wider historical community for too long,” says Daniel Ritschel, director of the Center for History Education and associate professor of history. “We have assembled our new partnership of educators, historians, media experts, and public history institutions in order to provide that support, offer our expertise and resources to enrich teaching of history, and help spark in students the love of the subject which we all share.”

The program’s impact will go well beyond the cohorts of teachers enrolled. Ultimately, several hundred lesson plans prepared by the participants and covering much of the American history curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels will be available on the Web. (Some already can be found on the center’s Web site, www.umbc.edu/che, along with links to a variety of other resources.)


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