The closest thing to a time machine

June 3, 2014

An obsession with objects from the past, a dedication to teacher education, and an ear for the words, “grant funding will be available.” The result? A $102,000 grant from the Kansas Board of Regents to bring the past to the present in Emporia schools.

“In a world where we can find out whatever information we desire within seconds through the internet, this idea started with appreciating the fact that it’s better to see the real thing

in person than it is to access it online,” said Dr. Darla Mallein, co-director of the project and associate professor in social sciences education at Emporia State.

“From my own life, it was one thing to know my great great grandfather served in the Civil War, it was quite another to find his discharge papers from 1865 and his wife’s application for Civil War pension of $12 a month. Accessing original documents and materials is the closest thing we have to a time machine,” Mallein said.

Mallein, who has attended Library of Congress training for use of primary documents – such as those discharge papers – teamed up with Dr. Paul Bland, associate professor in school leadership / middle & secondary teacher education, to write the grant, along with assistance from George Abel and Ryan Karjala from the USD 253 offices. They found out in December 2013 the grant was funded and began work in February; the grant will run through May 2015.

The goal of the grant was to have grades 5-12 social studies teachers work with English, English language learning, and special education teachers to find ways to use primary sources across all disciplines to help their students, and in turn have their students meet the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies.

Thirty teachers from USD 253 Emporia will be involved in workshops funded by the grant,

which will be taking place at Emporia State this summer. Teachers who applied through the school district will hear from Marcia Fox from the Kansas Museum of History, as well as several Emporia State professors who will serve as content experts and offering assistance throughout the project. They include: Dr. George Abel, Dr. Deb Gerish, Dr. Kevin Kienholz, Dr. Brian Miller, Dr. Manjula Shinge, and Dr. Kelly O’Neal-Hixson, and Dr. Greg Schneider.

Through the use of primary sources, the attending teachers will develop lesson plans and assessments aligned with the standards to be implemented during the 2014-15 school year. At that time, Mallein and Bland will visit classrooms where the lessons are being used and provide follow-up guidance to the teachers.

This was the first KBOR grant awarded to fund social studies and literacy standards.

This project is funded in part by a federal grant under Title II of the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110) administered by the Kansas Board of Regents. 100% of the cost of the project was financed with federal funds. Opinions and findings expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Kansas Board of Regents.

 

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