Category Archives: Collaboration Among CAISCT Teachers & Students

Join Our Journey to Discover Best Practices for Public History

What public history skills do historians employ to create and celebrate a meaningful sense of place in any community? What part of our past should be showcased today? What are the best practices associated with the process of making effective public history that will best engage community members? Bill Sullivan’s American Studies class will delve into historical topics relevant to the town’s 350th anniversary and share what they learned from this sustained inquiry during the April meeting of the Suffield Historical Society. They will study topics and design public history projects that will hopefully benefit the town’s process of commemorating this significant anniversary year.

#CAISCT students and teachers should establish a line of local history inquiry and join the process of learning these best practices for public history in their own community. #CAISCT students and teachers can share best practices for public history and #PBL on this collaborative blog. #CAISCT teachers should feel comfortable brainstorming topics based on other years of #PBL inquiry on this blog and ask Bill Sullivan further questions about Connecticut history, great historical societies that can assist your student learning, and archival resources that will be beneficial for research. The following driving questions about public history may start great conversations about possible lines of inquiries for the following topics:

  • 1774 Census: who are these enslaved colonials in your community’s census? Could your community curate the time and place of these enslaved Africans lives with help from the Witness Stones project? 1774 is also a remarkable year in American Colonial history as so many were thinking of freedom. Your town records will also animate this discussion of freedom as among so many entries of borders, roads, and prosaic community projects, a history student will observe how suddenly meetings for “resolves” appear. Amidst this landscape, you should also appreciate the narrative of Mum Bett in southwestern Massachusetts. https://caisctpbl.wordpress.com/the-spirit-of-1774/
  • 29th Regiment: who enlisted from your town? What is each story behind every name? https://ct29thcv.wordpress.com/join-this-project-today/
  • Women’s history: Do you have any women who you could nominate for the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame? https://caisctpbl.wordpress.com/womens-history/

#PBL Challenge for Today’s Class

We made great progress on the 19th century newspaper article regarding the local 18th and 19th century slaves from Suffield’s history. Now we need to curate our information, create a driving question, and acknowledge the skills required for more learning. So, let’s create four groups. You can decide the make-up of the groups. Once you gather, decide what labor is required and then divide the tasks evenly. Let’s publish the post and tweets by the end of class.

Goal: can we achieve the productive “hum” that we met on Saturday? https://twitter.com/caisct_pbl/status/1081261701994082305

  • One group to finish as best they can the transcription.  
  • One group to create a blog post explaining what we have in this document as well as what we want to learn. This can be one large or two small paragraphs.  See the criteria for making a blog post in our Google Drive folder.
  • Twitter research team: who in our academic network can help with this question? Who else outside our academic Twitter network can help?
  • Compose sophisticated tweets with crystalized prose; the prose should be in a form of a question and add hashtags that tap into content areas as well as skills (such as #PBL for project-based learning).

Day Two: Challenge Extended. While we achieved our “Productive Hum” yesterday in class, we did not fully complete the task. There are several reasons for that; our work is complex and collaboration is challenging. That said, let’s continue with the missing parts of the above goal and add a new challenge because completing the work above does not require all fourteen team members. New challenge will be to find more history about the woman or women who ran the Austin Tavern, which was a famous colonial destination. You will now read legacy work about George Washington and John Adams’ visits there. Here is a link to Lea’s post: https://caisctpbl.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/john-adams-a-complex-reporter/

And Jackson’s post: https://caisctpbl.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/george-washington-and-his-affect-in-suffield/

Driving question: What should be Mary Seymour Austin’s record in Suffield’s history? https://founders.archives.gov/?q=suffield%20Author%3A%22Austin%2C%20Mary%20Seymour%22&s=1511311111&r=1

Women’s History: #PD Launch for #PBL Among #CAISCT Ts & Ss

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 1.07.33 PMWhat famous Connecticut women made history in your community? Who is making history now? What significant woman’s contributions to your community history has been overlooked? Forgotten? Undervalued? Start researching and writing about your local history. We will plan to do the same research and share research methods when we published our discoveries on this CAISCT PBL blog. Bill Sullivan’s class will also be putting on a community presentation to the town’s historical society in April of 2019 where the students will share what they learn and show how they learned it. In some ways, CAISCT students and teachers can find their own venues to add more depth of authenticity to the way they share their local history discoveries with their community. Perhaps it is best to consider this work as another form of service learning.

Curious about using a classroom blog and student-operated Twitter account to accommodate project-based learning? Plan to join our day hike for the 2018-19 academic year and dive into this authentic, local history challenge. Any CAISCT learner is welcome to collaborate on the CAISCT-PBL blog and Twitter account. So provide your students the opportunity to write history and appreciate the discipline form another perspective. They will soon learn that Connecticut’s history is complex, and one ingredient of our historic inquiries acknowledges that a local history perspective will CAISCT learners shed a new light in the historiography of Connecticut’s narratives. Lisa Leveque from Rectory School and Bill Sullivan from Suffield Academy will share their students’ learning experiences while working on one blog during the 2016-17 academic year in which they investigated freedom and slavery in the pivotal year of 1774 as well as the 2017-18 academic year, which pursued homefront issues of WWI.

Bring your day hike bag and learn about next year’s inquiry into Women’s history and set your students on an adventure course where they explore possible nominees for the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in their community. http://cwhf.org/induction-ceremony/induction-process#.WvxbmNMvzaYWomen’s History: PD Launch for #PBL #CAISCT Teachers.