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New Jersey

Rowan University and Delaware County Community College
ER #155 Contact: Michelle Kowalsky

Regional Training in Primary Sources for Teachers helps teachers in the Delaware Valley uncover new resources in the Library of Congress database, and to select items which might serve as significant curricular connections as well as shorter lesson prompts. Community college professors, teacher preparation faculty and mentors, humanities liaison librarians, K-12 teachers, pre-service candidates and others will demonstrate integration of primary sources for lessons in history, social studies reading, literature, art, foreign language, and digital media courses, among other subjects. Via a train-the-trainer program, online professional development modules, and an annual conference, participants will share their ideas and teach others about new primary source materials and strategies.​

Project Website

Rowan University
ER #88 Contact: Michelle Kowalsky

Lesson Frameworks for Teaching with Primary Sources at Rowan University hosts multi-session workshops that allow teachers from the region to interact on challenging "big questions" in lesson design. Workshops cover that of essential lesson structures needed to teach with and about primary sources in the social studies and humanities, among other subjects. Participants collaborate in a workshop-style setting to create lesson frameworks that suit their different teaching styles. These lessons are made available to all teachers via the project's website. An important aspect of these workshops is the involvement of Rowan teacher candidates and their professors, who can also serve as leaders in this content in the area schools in which they are working, both for field practicum experiences and when on the job in the future.

Rutgers University, New Jersey for Civic Education
ER #82 Contact: Arlene Gardner

Creating Evidence-Based Learners and Thinkers brings together a consortium of New Jersey universities, social studies supervisors, and New Jersey schools to provide professional development for New Jersey educators. The project focuses on the question: How well equipped are our students to become informed, engaged citizens about public policy? Primary sources are an important method for involving students in thinking and viewing critically, weighing relevant evidence, and evaluating multiple sources and perspectives. Evidence-based learners have the ability to effectively assess sources of information and to come to informed, reasoned decisions.

  1. Promote critical thinking through the examination and weighing of evidence in order to draw reasons versions.
  2. Ensure students can understand how to interpret information and ideas from original sources.
  3. Ensure that classroom learning goes beyond the textbook, and that students utilize online resources available, such as the Library of Congress.
  4. Provide social studies educators with instructional strategies to create evidence-based learning and thinking.

Creating Evidence-Based Learners and Thinkers is designed to provide training over two years for approximately 60 social studies teachers, of which 10-20 are further trained as teacher-trainers to continue to expand the reach of the program. In addition, we provide training for approximately ten social studies methods professors from several universities in the states, who in turn, reach 200-500 pre-service social studies teachers over two years. TPS workshops are offered at statewide conferences sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies.

Montclair University, New Jersey for Civic Education
ER #48 Contact: Arlene Gardner

Evidence-Based Learning is a statewide project of the New Jersey Center for Civic Education and the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies. Separate workshops for upper elementary teachers and librarians and for secondary school social studies teachers enhance classroom learning through inquiry-based instruction using primary sources. A cadre of teacher-trainers participate in advanced workshops. Well-developed standards-based classroom activities using primary sources and inquiry-based instructional strategies are showcased online and at statewide conferences. The goal is not only for students to better understand the past, but also to help students develop critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making skills. NJ Center for Civic Education Website

Using the Online Resources at the Library of Congress to Teach about Immigration professional development activity created by Arlene Gardner designed for elementary level grades 3-5 and middle level grades 6-8.

William Patterson University of New Jersey
ER #44 Contact: Salika Lawrence

Curriculum developed through the TPS at WPU project enhances students' critical reading and analytical skills. The curriculum incorporates nonfiction text and serves as a model for regional public schools and beyond. The TPS at WPU project sponsors a wide array of professional development experiences to introduce teachers to the curriculum and support implementation in upper elementary through 12th grade classrooms. With a long-term goal of improving students' reading skills, resources from the project are shared with educators through the TPS at WPU website. The following workshops are offered: Using the Inquiry Process to Facilitate Active Learning, Exploring How Primary Sources Can be used to Foster Critical Thinking, Supporting Students' Multiple Literacy Skills with Primary Sources, and Developing Instructional Materials that Incorporate Primary Sources.

Supplemental Reading Curriculum