Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

Professional Learning

Since 1989, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning has worked with history and humanities instructors in professional development seminars in New York City and around the country. Our materials and approaches are grounded in models of instructional design that combine engaging social history content with support for student mastery of historical thinking practices and Common Core literacy skills.

As historians and media producers located at the intersection of public higher and grade 7-12 education, ASHP/CML brings significant advantages to our professional learning programs: connection to a network of leading scholars in U.S. history, decades of experience working with local teachers, and an extensive collection of print and multimedia resources produced by ourselves and others. In addition to our Making Connections interdisciplinary humanities program (which served Social Studies and English teachers in New York City for nearly two decades), ASHP/CML was a partner on nine professional development programs funded by the United States Department of Education’s Teaching American History program.

ASHP/CML is available—and eager—to work with history and social studies teachers at the school or district level. Contact us if you’d like to discuss in-person and online professional development options. We also have two new online projects we think you’ll want to know more about:

Who Built America Badges for History Education

Be a part of ASHP/CML’s innovative new approach to professional learning, designed specifically for history teachers. Who Built America Badges for History Education is an online professional learning community where teachers can earn digital badges and professional development hours as they practice and master the skills of effective history teaching. Designed for U.S. history teachers in Grades 7 through 12 and based on ASHP/CML’s proven professional development methods and social history content, the program links professional learning directly to classroom practice and gives teachers a way to represent their professional learning to others. Creating, using, and reflecting on high quality, practical materials is at the core of WBA’s professional learning process.

Participants immerse themselves in tutorials that help them consider how instructional design choices can support student mastery of key historical thinking and literacy concepts. After they complete these tutorials, teachers can earn badges by working with ASHP/CML educators to design and teach their own classroom lessons. They can also undertake a process of studying a model WBA Inquiry Unit, teaching it, reflecting on the resulting student work, and revising the unit for future classroom use, all with expert guidance and feedback from ASHP/CML.


Zoom In!

Created in partnership with Education Development Center, Zoom In features 18 skill-focused, document-rich lessons on social history topics that address every era of U.S. history. These interactive inquiries engage students in reading documents closely, gathering evidence, and writing an argumentative or explanatory essay. Each lesson includes all the materials teachers need— a compelling hook, slides with essential context, a variety of historical sources, carefully designed reading materials, and discussion prompts and templates for writing well-structured essays.