Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dr. Christine Sears Films Teaching Segment for National History Education Clearinghouse

In April 2010, Dr. Christine Sears filmed a “Best Practices: Examples of Historical Thinking” segment for the National History Education Clearinghouse. The NHEC is collaboration between George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and Stanford University’s School of Education, and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This is a centralized, interactive website where K-12 American history teachers can find resources, research, advice, and support to enhance their teaching, including history content, lesson plans, and video of classroom teaching in action. The organizers asked Christine to participate because of her experience teaching junior high and high school.

Christine's twenty-minute presentation, “The Barbary Pirates: Letters to Tripoli,” analyzes two letters between Consul James Cathcart in Tripoli and the Secretary of State, written in 1800, not long before the outbreak of the US's war with Tripoli (1801-1805). She was asked to model analyzing primary sources, historical thinking and information relevant to K-12 teachers. Christine says that the NHEC employees were experts at making her feel comfortable despite the glaring lights and running camera, and they did excellent editing work.

Please check out Christine's presentation and the other helpful resources on this exciting website!

Pictured here is Christine with at the grave of William Bainbridge, who was captain of the USS Philadelphia, which he lost to the Tripolitans during the Tripolitan War 1801-1805. According to Christine, he did very well, however, in the War of 1812 as the Captain of the USS Constitution and scored a thrilling victory over the HMS Java.

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