Workshop: Creating Programs for Teachers and Students

Workshop Description

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum education and programming needed to create engaging, educational, and successful educational programming for students and teachers. Learn how to craft on site and outreach programming that is meaningful to the education community.

Topics include:

  • Learning Theory
  • Onsite Programming
  • Outreach Programming
  • Working with Educators
  • Advocating for Education at Your Organization

Details

FORMAT: In-person group workshop

LENGTH: Two days (Approx 9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

DATE: June 11-12, 2020

LOCATION: Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205

MATERIALS: Workshop materials will be provided upon registration and in-person at the event.

COST: $230 AASLH members / $345 nonmembers / See Scholarship opportunities below

** Save $40 when you register by May 8, 2020  and use promo code EARLYBIRD20 at checkout! **

REGISTER HERE

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

Scholarship 

AASLH Workshop Scholarships

Our annual workshop scholarship program provides free registration to an onsite Continuing Education workshop and one-year AASLH membership for four applicants. Two scholarships are reserved for new professionals (fewer than three years in the field), and two for applicants broadening the racial and ethnic diversity of our field. Applications are due January 15, 2020. Read more and apply. 


Philadelphia Celebrates National History Day Winners

By Michael Madeja, American Philosophical Society Museum, Philadelphia, PA

In a city whose history organizations face innumerable challenges, we witness many more triumphs. It's easy to tell stories of organization-wide failures or missed opportunities for collaboration, but these stories lose sight sight of why we, as history professionals of various forms, combat these challenges. I’m honored and humbled to participate in the yearly regional competition for National History Day, aptly named NHD Philly. The details below are about history organizations at their best because these stories are not about history organizations themselves: they are about the successes of two students from Philadelphia winning a national competition with the help of a collective of Philadelphia-based history organizations. In a year with the AASLH theme of “What Are We Waiting For?” and an NHD theme of “Triumph and Tragedy,” I can think of no better blog post to share than this. 

Philadelphia and NHD Philly had the great honor of celebrating Harry Murphy and Taryn Flaherty in June. Harry and Taryn won first and second place, respectively, for their entries in the nationwide National History Day competition this year. Harry’s first place win for his paper “Dealing with the Devil: The Triumph and Tragedy of IBM’s Business with the Third Reich” was a first for NHD Philly. Taryn’s second place win for an exhibit featured the struggle in the 1960s to get African American history into the School District of Philadelphia curriculum. Both are fantastic examples of students following their interests.

First place winner Harry Murphy.
Second place winner Taryn Flaherty.

For those uninitiated into the wonder of National History Day (NHD), it is a nationwide competition that provides thousands of students with real history skills. Middle and high school students, as a group or as an individual, are presented with a theme; 2019’s was “Triumph and Tragedy.” They are tasked with presenting a paper, performance, documentary, exhibit, or website that fits within the theme and they then compete in a series of competitions that build up to the nation-wide contest. In Philly, our regional contest is NHD Philly and it has been running for over fourteen years. 

NHD Philly uses a cooperative model to ensure student access to diverse collections and promote student success. In models like this and with educational programs like NHD, we, as archive and museum professionals, tend to hope that students use our collections, tell stories from our archives, and interview our staff. This is where NHD Philly diverges. The days leading up to the contest (and the many months of planning prior), it is all about the students. It is nearly impossible to walk around the National Constitution Center and the host locations (such as the National Museum of American Jewish History, WHYY, and Arch Street Meeting House) and not see the bigger picture that all participating organizations see. The competition isn’t about our collections: it’s about the students. Take it from someone who works for the archive that holds the Lewis and Clark journals—it isn’t about where the student found that primary resource: it is truly about how they used it in their project. 

In a city whose students face innumerable challenges, we witness many more triumphs. The restorative energy brought to history professionals by seeing those 437 students engaged with history through this program is a triumph. The ability of fifty organizations and twenty schools to provide those students with that opportunity is a triumph. Sometimes we wait for the right theme. Sometimes we wait for the right opportunities to collaborate. As long as we never wait to provide students and educators with access to our professional skills and collections, waiting won’t get in the way. 


You can see both of these winning projects while you're in Philadelphia for #AASLH2019. Taryn’s exhibit project, “Black Studies Now! Philadelphia's 1967 Student Walkouts,” and Harry’s paper, “Dealing with the Devil: The Triumph and Tragedy of IBM’s Business with the Third Reich” will both be on display at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Be sure to check them out while you are in town either during HSP's regular daytime hours or for the evening event, "Out in the Gayborhood: LGBTQ History in Philly" on Wednesday, August 28. You can also read Harry’s paper online on the NHD Philly website.


Workshop: Creating Programs for Teachers and Students

Workshop Description

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum education and programming needed to create engaging, educational, and successful educational programming for students and teachers. Learn how to craft on site and outreach programming that is meaningful to the education community. This workshop was formerly called "Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students."

Topics include:

  • Learning Theory
  • Onsite Programming
  • Outreach Programming
  • Working with Educators
  • Advocating for Education at Your Organization

 

Details

FORMAT: In-person group workshop

LENGTH: Two days (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

DATE: June 24 – 25, 2019

LOCATION: The Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701

MATERIALS: Workshop materials will be provided upon registration and in-person at the event.

COST: $230 AASLH members/$345 nonmembers

** Save $40 when you register by May 24, 2019 and use promo code EARLYBIRD19 at checkout! **

REGISTER

Scholarships

Participants of this workshop may be eligible for an AASLH Workshop Scholarship. Each year AASLH offers scholarships to four individuals in the history field to attend an AASLH onsite workshop. Recipients of the New Professional Workshop Scholarship and Diversity Workshop Fellowship receive registration fee reimbursement for one AASLH workshop and one year Individual Membership in AASLH. Registration for 2019 Workshop scholarships is now open. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2019.

APPLY

 

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

 

Instructors

Stacia Kuceyeski is the Director of Outreach at the Ohio History Connection. Stacia provides high quality professional development for cultural heritage professionals as well as a K-16 audience in a variety of humanities content areas and learning theories. She has presented and published for a number of organizations including the American Association of State and Local History, the Midwest Archives Conference and the Teaching American History Project Directors’ Conference. Stacia also has extensive grant writing experience and has received funding from a variety of national, state and local foundations and granting agencies. Luckily, her grant writing abilities far surpass her singing, drawing and poetry writing skills. When not making professional development magic happen, Stacia enjoys the Golden Girls, sassy earrings and an unnatural affection for our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Stacia earned her B.A. in History and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, both from The Ohio State University.

 

Megan Wood is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio History Connection. Megan has over a decade of experience in museums and public history. She has a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Public History from Western Michigan University.


Workshop: Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming.

Register

Date: June 22-23, 2017

Cost: $280 AASLH members/$405 nonmembers
*Get $40 off registration if you book by May 18, 2017!*

Location: George Mason's Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA

Register

Description:

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming. Learn how to craft programming that is meaningful to the education community.

Topics include learning styles, presentation strategies, audience types, planning strategies, program assessment, research, and staff training.

Who Should Attend:
This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

Register

About the Faculty:

07acd61Stacia Kuceyeski is the Director of Outreach at the Ohio History Connection. Stacia provides high quality professional development for cultural heritage professionals as well as a K-16 audience in a variety of humanities content areas and learning theories. She has presented and published for a number of organizations including the American Association of State and Local History, the Midwest Archives Conference and the Teaching American History Project Directors’ Conference. Stacia also has extensive grant writing experience and has received funding from a variety of national, state and local foundations and granting agencies. Luckily, her grant writing abilities far surpass her singing, drawing and poetry writing skills. When not making professional development magic happen, Stacia enjoys the Golden Girls, sassy earrings and an unnatural affection for our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Stacia earned her B.A. in History and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, both from The Ohio State University.

 

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Megan Wood is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio History Connection. Megan has over a decade of experience in museums and public history. She has a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Public History from Western Michigan University.

 

 

 

This workshop is presented in partnership with the Creative Learning Factory at the Ohio History Connection.

Register

AASLH Welcomes First 30 Academic Program Members

Diverse Students Studying with Their Professor

In April 2016, AASLH launched a brand new membership type for Academic Programs. Designed specifically to meet the needs of faculty and students in history, public history, and museum studies programs, the Academic Program Membership offers a unique benefits package for only $310 a year. Most importantly, students of the Academic Program Members get free membership as long as they are enrolled.

The response has exceeded our initial expectations, and we are excited to welcome these thirty departments/programs and their students to the AASLH community:

For more information on the Academic Program Membership, check out our membership page, browse the APM Handbook, or contact Hannah Hethmon ([email protected] or 615-320-3203).


Improving the Emerging Professional Experience at the AASLH Annual Meeting

Are you an emerging history professional who plans to attend AASLH's 2016 annual meeting in the Motor City (Detroit)? If so, the AASLH Emerging History Professionals (EHP) Affinity Community has three initiatives that may interest you. Read on to learn how the EHP committee is working to enhance the experience of AASLH's EHP members at this year's annual meeting.

First, if you're looking for a conference roommate or ride share buddy, check out our new room and ride share forum before you make your travel and hotel arrangements. We're launching it in the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for an announcement from AASLH. On the forum, you'll be able to connect with other AASLH members looking for conference hotel roommates, as well as people looking for travel companions or carpool buddies. If you live in or around Detroit, you can also use the forum to offer an extra room or comfortable couch to a fellow AASLH member.

Detroit Cadillac Square btw 1910 and 1920
Detroit’s Cadillac Square between 1910 and 1920. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In addition, the EHP committee will provide an EHP guide to the annual meeting. The EHP guide will highlight meeting sessions and activities that focus on issues or projects with particular significance to the EHP community. Ask for it at the registration desk when you pick up your badge or peruse it on our blog from your smartphone. For your planning purposes, we'll post the guide to our blog in advance of the annual meeting.

The number one do-not-miss event on the EHP annual meeting guide will be the EHP mentoring session. Designed and run by us, your EHP committee, this session will provide EHPs with a chance to speak with seasoned professionals working in a range of fields related to state and local history, as well as a space in which to meet and connect with fellow EHPs. Have a professional goal but aren't sure how to meet it? Want to know more about a particular field and how to break into it? Feel free to ask these and other questions at the EHP mentoring session.

We're excited to share the EHP guide and mentoring session with you, and we hope you can use the forum to reduce conference-related costs. Be sure to check our blog and Twitter account between now and September for news and updates. See you in Detroit!


Call for Posters 2015

This year the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is holding our annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 16-19. We are proud to be working with NCPH who is sponsoring the poster session at our meeting for the third year running. This presents an excellent opportunity for students in particular to share their work with fellow public historians and to discover the work their peers are doing, and we want to make sure that you do not miss the opportunity to participate.

poster session

The poster session format is an excellent forum for sharing visual or material evidence, engaging in one-on-one discussions about your project, and soliciting feedback about works-in-progress. It’s also a great, low-pressure way to participate in a conference for the first time.

The Annual Meeting theme is “The Power of Possibility,” and the poster session will be at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Friday, September 18. Proposals are due June 8.  Poster session proposals must be submitted electronically in one PDF document and must include your contact information, a short abstract describing your project, a one-page C.V., and a mock-up of your proposed poster. For more details about the submission process and requirements, please carefully review the Call for Posters at http://ncph.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/CALL-FOR-NCPH-POSTERS-2015.pdf.

Whether you’re finishing up a project and want to share your conclusions or you’re partway through and looking for thoughts on where to go from here, the NCPH-sponsored poster session is an ideal format for students who want to get on the program at AASLH. We encourage you to submit a proposal by June 8.


Going Postal: Postcards as Local History

As a student, it isn’t very often that your projects go beyond the classroom and into the community. However, this is one aspect of my Historical Administration M.A. Program at Eastern Illinois University that I have enjoyed deeply. As part of the coursework in two of my classes (Research Methods in American Local History and Introduction to Archival Methods), I had the opportunity to develop a project that allowed me to strengthen my research skills, develop collections management skills, and practice digital methods. You may ask yourself: what project would lend itself to developing these skills?

It all started with the purchase of a few postcards from a local antique store last fall. A colleague of mine at a local museum had never seen these postcards of Lilacia Park in Lombard, Illinois before, so I decided to pick them up.  At the time I was also looking for a project for my methods course. The sources appeared in the form of the postcards, so I considered this as a potential project.

What began as 2 postcards turned into a growing personal collection and a partnership with the DuPage County Historical Museum. Postcards like these can show how a place has changed over time and provide numerous views of the same place much like a photograph. (c. 1951, author's collection.)
What began as two postcards has turned into a growing personal collection and a partnership with the DuPage County Historical Museum. Postcards like these can show how a place has changed over time and provide numerous views of the same place, much like  photographs. (c. 1951, author's collection)

In the meantime, we began to read parts of Fay Metcalf and Matthew Downey’s Using Local History in the Classroom. The book, published by AASLH in 1982, analyzes a variety of resources that can be used to write local histories, including family, social, economic, and political history. Metcalf and Downey talk about a variety of sources, but they do not discuss postcards. By utilizing their framework in order to analyze postcards and discuss their importance as a form of historical evidence, I had found my niche and my project.

Every postcard tells a story through its image and its inscription. The inscription on the back of this postcard reads, “We had a swell trip to Chicago and no trouble, we’ve been busy ever since I got here going places. We went out to the airport yesterday morn and saw some of the big planes. I’ll write later.” (c. 1939, author's collection.)
Every postcard tells a story through its image and inscription. The message on the back of this postcard reads: “We had a swell trip to Chicago and no trouble, we've been busy ever since I got here going places. We went out to the airport yesterday morn and saw some of the big planes. I’ll write later.” (c. 1939, author's collection)

Rather than focus simply on postcards from Lombard, I contacted the DuPage County Historical Museum and found that they had a collection of approximately 600 postcards of nearly 24 towns within DuPage County. I set out to analyze these postcards and write a class paper that examined how postcards illustrate the four types of history covered by Metcalf and Downey in the book.

Each postcard conveys a story, whether it is through its materials, imagery, or inscription. Postcards teach us about our family, our community, and where we come from. (c. 1950, DuPage County Historical Museum, 87.4.3.1)
Each postcard conveys a story, and can teach us about our family, our community, and where we come from. (c. 1950, DuPage County Historical Museum, 87.4.3.1)

Over the course of the fall I developed a strong interest in postcards, and even applied for and received a Research/Creative Activity Award from the Graduate College at Eastern Illinois University. This award allowed us to purchase PastPerfect Online to make the catalog of these postcards digitally accessible. Inspired by Metcalf and Downey, I wanted to make these postcards available to the public in a way that they could be used for research and in the classroom.

The museum hopes to have the collection fully accessible to the public by the end of 2015. If you are interested in the research behind this project, check out the online guide "Using Postcards as Historical Evidence." Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the project.

Brian Failing is an AASLH student member and Master’s candidate in the Historical Administration Program at Eastern Illinois University. Failing is a museum professional and aspiring public historian. He can be contacted at [email protected].


5 Questions I Love To Get From Kids

As we all know every group that comes in for educational programs are different.  Each one of them has its own personality and energy.  Some are wide eyed and eager while others seem more interested in when they get lunch.  Some sit quietly and listen while others engage actively in the programs.  Of course it is our job to make the experience fun, exciting, and educational for all of them, but, if you are like me, you feed off of their energy.  That is why I get so excited when I start to hear certain questions from groups.  These are some of my favorites.

 

Photo Courtesy of Indiana Historical Society
Photo Courtesy of Indiana Historical Society

 

5.  How would people have _____ back then?

This question lets me know that they are curious, but it goes beyond, "Hey, what is that?"  They aren't just curious about the unfamiliar items around them.  They want to know specifically about a time a specific thing.  This lets me know that they have probably been thinking about this for a while.  This question also allows me to turn over some of the control of the program to the kids.  They can now set the framework for how we are going to talk about a topic.

4.  Is that like when we _____?

Now the kids are making comparisons to their daily life.  That is something that is built into any historic programs that I do already.  I want to show how things have changed over time, but in order to get kids to understand something you have to put it in terms they are familiar with.  When students ask me this, they are making those connections on their own.  Now I know that the information they are getting is going to be that much more meaningful to them.

 

Photo courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks
Photo courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks

 

3.  If _____ then _____?

I am not a computer programmer, but I love if - then statements.  This question not only tells me that the kids understand what we are talking about, but they are then taking it further to some conclusion.  I always get excited when students start making these kinds of connections.  Even though they are usually making a connection that I was probably working towards anyway, sometimes this question can open up entire new directions to take the program.

2.  What if _____?

This question is a double edged sword.  On one hand, I love to hear the creative (and usually funny) things that kids will come up with during my programs.  Plus, as a fan of alternate history, a good what if question can lead to some very interesting places.  Sometimes kids will propose interesting situations or solutions that most adults would never think of.  But that is the first what if question.  If you aren't careful you find yourself fielding the 50th what if question and no where near the original topic of your program.

 

Photo courtesy of Conner Prairie
Photo courtesy of Conner Prairie

 

1.  Can I come back?

This simple question tells me everything I need to know about how I did as an interpreter.  If kids leave me wanting to come back then I did my job.

 

Do you have some particularly memorable questions from your audience?  Please share them in the comments section below.  Keep an eye out, in the future I may share my least favorite questions as well.


Why We Do What We Do

The other day I was sitting at my computer searching online for student engagement.  I was looking for any ideas or techniques that would be a good fit for our already existing programming.  While I was searching, I couldn't help but click on the images page for my search results.

Don't they look so excited by that computer.
Don't they look so excited by that computer?

For the most part, I saw the exact kinds of things that you would expect.  I'm sure most of you are even picturing the following right now:

  • students sitting attentively in desks
  • students sitting attentively on the floor
  • listening raptly to a lecture
  • working together on hands on projects
  • working on various forms of technology (computer, laptop, tablet, whatever Star Trek technology we make a reality next)
  • students raising their hands energetically
  • students smiling (lots and lots of smiling)

Of course no individual picture had all of these elements combined (or I would have included it with this post), but you can pick out the common themes.  The one thing that you could tell from each one of those pictures is that, for those kids, the thing they were doing at that moment was the only thing in the world.

That look is what we all strive for.  Whether it is through dramatic storytelling, hands-on projects, exhibit programs, or multimedia presentation, if those students are tuning out the rest of the world, then we are doing our jobs.  If you are like me, this doesn't happen to every student in every program, but you see it often enough to take it for granted.  When I have already done that program 4 times that day or, after 3 years of Civil War sesquicentennial, you are just tired of hearing about it, I forget to realize how impactful it can be for students.

I have already rambled on enough for now, so I am not going to talk about actual techniques for engaging students (I will do that in future posts).  Plus you can find plenty of helpful hints here, here, here, and here.  What I wanted to do with this post today was to remind myself, and maybe some of you as well, why I not only do this job but enjoy doing this job.  We have the ability to warp reality for a short time and make the world melt away for our visitors.  For the time we have them, nothing matters but the story, or activity, or program.