Project helps teachers engage students
with history SOLs
By Margaret Edwards
at U.Va. will help the states high school teachers use the
Wide Web to make history come alive as they prepare their students
for success with the Virginia Standards of Learning.
special project is an in-depth Multimedia Guide to the Virginia
Standards of Learning for teachers and students in 11th grade
U.S. and Virginia history, two subjects that must be passed in
order to graduate. A joint effort of historians at U.Va.s
Miller Center of Public
Affairs and Virginia
Center for Digital History, the multimedia guide is intended
to help history teachers apply the vast resources of the Web to
their standards-based curriculum. An early edition of the guide
is online at www.vcdh.virginia.edu/solguide.
National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park.
traveled to England in 1616 to meet King James I and Queen
Charlotte. Simon Van de Passe painted the only known picture
of her then, from which this 19th-century oil portrait was
created by William Ludwell Sheppard in 1891.
completed next year, the online guide will cover all 13 of the
required standards in 11th-grade history, and also all subsections
of the standards, said William G. Thomas III, director of the
Virginia Center for Digital History. All the sections will have
a background essay, a list of recommended reading and an exhibit
of multimedia resources from U.Va. and other high-quality library
and university sites. Peer-reviewed by classroom teachers, each
essay will offer background for teachers on the latest scholarship
that underpins the knowledge required in the SOLs. The exhibits
will offer immediate online links to a vast array of valuable
teaching materials, including original historical documents, artwork
and other resources to stimulate learning.
project will supplement the state Department of Educations
teacher resource guide by offering the contextual background for
the standards and the multimedia teaching resources. It also is
intended as a national model for other educators seeking to engage
students as they prepare to meet SOL requirements, said Philip
D. Zelikow, director of the Miller Center. We hope that
it will make the wealth of online history resources available
at universities around the country more accessible to educators
and students alike.
help spread the word about this resource, the Miller Center and
VCDH have published a sample print guide that includes contextual
essays and online, multimedia exhibits for three of the Virginia
standards on Colonial History, the Civil War and Civil Rights.
guide will be distributed to teachers in 2002-03 at teacher training
workshops being offered by the Curry School of Education. The
workshops, funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
will provide training to over 2,300 administrators and teachers
in Virginias K-12 schools, who will work with the guide
and disseminate it in their schools. The guide will also be featured
at Virginia social studies conferences and is freely available
to educators, students and the public.
University of Virginias Multimedia Guide to the Virginia
Standards of Learning has the potential to extend and transform
high school history teaching. It will allow students to use the
same techniques that historians employ as they view, analyze and
interpret primary resources.
Curry School of
Educations Center for Technology and Teacher Education
endorses and recommends this useful guide, said Glen Bull,
Ward Professor of Education and co-director of the center.
need support, encouragement and resources to do their jobs effectively,
said Thomas. Our goal is to contribute to more effective
teaching of American history in our high schools.