Teaching Iowa History Project
Our project, Teaching Iowa History: Tools for Teachers, is an exciting mission to put Iowa's stories and local history resources into the hands of our Iowa educators.
For the first time in over a decade, the Iowa Board of Education's social studies standards require the teaching of Iowa History at every grade level.
Iowa's teachers are anxious to implement the new standards but lack resources. Earlier this summer, teachers were surveyed about which tools would be most helpful to them in meeting the new standards, and 80% indicated Iowa history content was needed. This was closely followed by the need for text sets and primary sources.
The Iowa Museum Association (IMA) has partnered with the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa History Center at Simpson College, Graceland University, and the Iowa Geographic Alliance to develop a program that will provide teachers the resources they need and serve over half a million school children across all grade levels.
We believe in the importance of this project. The National Endowment for the Humanities does, too. In August the NEH awarded a $60,000 grant to IMA and our partner institutions. This grant is a key step in moving forward.
We need your help with the next step. The Iowa Museum Association must raise $60,000 to match the NEH grant. We are already over halfway to our goal, but work remains, and our time is limited. We seek to raise the remaining $24,000 in matching funds by November 30, 2017.
How is the project going to work?
Following the curation of a digital collection of history content and primary sources supplied by the "keepers of Iowa's history" (i.e. Iowa's history museums, historical societies, and subject matter experts), faculty and students at UNI and Simpson will use the collection to create text sets and lesson plans. Professional development will be created to assist teachers in learning how to incorporate local history and authentic artifacts into their lessons. Over a three-year period the partners will create meaningful resources for all Iowa teachers and make them freely available on multiple platforms.
Does IMA have any experience with this type of thing?
About three years ago, when the lack of Iowa history in our schools was brought to IMA’s attention, we started our “Teaching Iowa History with Local Resources ” professional development program, offered through Heartland AEA. Our goal was to inspire teachers to use Iowa history and authentic artifacts to illustrate lessons. The two day training has been provided for the past three years - 2015, 2016, and 2017.
How did it go? “The courses were a big success, the teachers who participated have asked for additional opportunities!” --Brandie Gean, Licensure and Conference Center Manager, Heartland Area Education Agency 11.
Who's running this GoFundMe?
Cynthia Sweet is the Executive Director of the Iowa Museum Association.
“I fully support this effort not only because it is best practice when thinking about promoting the teaching and learning of state history, but because resources and support are desperately needed across the state.”
--Stefanie Wager, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa History Advisory Council
$20,160 remaining. Three ways to support this worthy project - mail a check, Support IMA at https://www.iowamuseums.org or https://www.gofundme.com/TeachingIowaHistory