IU Centers Awarded NEH Funding to Help Teachers Improve Instruction on Major Social Movements

 September 4, 2009, BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University's efforts to promote excellence in social studies teaching have been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which has awarded the Center on Congress and the Center for the Study of History and Memory a $165,422 grant to co-sponsor a July 2010 Summer Institute in Bloomington for high school social studies teachers.

 

Titled "Social Movements in Modern America: Labor, Civil Rights, and Feminism," the three-week institute will help teachers understand the pivotal role of three major social movements in changing U.S. public policy over the last century. The institute will be co-directed by Edward G. Carmines, the Warner O. Chapman Professor and Rudy Professor of political science and research director for the Center on Congress at Indiana University Bloomington; and John Bodnar, Chancellor's Professor of history and co-director of the Center for the Study of History and Memory at IU Bloomington. Bodnar is also director of IU's Institute of Advanced Study.

The "Social Movements" institute will recruit 25 social studies teachers from grades 9 through 12. Full-time teachers in public, private, or church- affiliated schools are eligible to apply. The application deadline is March 1, 2010; the institute will run from July 11-31.

The institute will devote one week to each of the social movements, acquainting teachers with the latest scholarship and elements that tie the three movements together. The teachers will attend lectures, participate in classroom discussions, analyze essential primary sources, complete reading assignments, watch documentary films, visit historic sites, and develop curricular materials. Following the institute, participants will be able to continue working on curricular materials via an institute Web site, where they will be able to post lesson plans and share strategies for making their instruction more effective.

The NEH has designated the institute as part of its "We the People" project, a special initiative designed to improve the teaching of American history and culture. The grant for the 2010 Summer Institute at IU Bloomington is one of 184 projects nationwide to be supported by a total of $29 million in NEH grant funding announced Aug. 20. The NEH is an independent federal agency that supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities.

Joining Professors Carmines and Bodnar in conducting the institute will be three distinguished experts in the topics being examined.

The principal instructor for the labor movement will be Carl Weinberg, Ph.D., editor of the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, one of the premier publications on the teaching of history on both the secondary and university levels. Weinberg is the author of Labor, Loyalty and Rebellion: Southwestern Illinois Coal Miners and World War I, as well as articles and essays on the role of the labor movement in American history.

Professor Jennifer Maher will be responsible for the section of the institute that focuses on the women's movement. Maher is senior lecturer in the Department of Gender Studies at IU Bloomington, and is the author of numerous articles, essays and reviews that deal with the women's movement, feminism, and contemporary women writers.

Professor Jeffrey Ogbonna Green Ogbar will teach the civil rights section of the institute. Ogbar, an IU graduate, is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on black nationalism and radical social protest. He has published Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identify and Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap.

Also on the institute faculty, focusing on helping participants integrate the institute's content into their classrooms, will be Purdue University Professor Lynn Nelson, a specialist on the teaching of history and civic education on the secondary level.

Barbara Truesdell, assistant director of the Center for the Study of History and Memory, will manage the administrative details of the institute.