Ms. Brooke Harton, a teacher at College Hill Middle School, is one of only 58 teachers selected for a National History Day® (NHD) fall professional development program. This new course focuses on using online Library of Congress primary and secondary sources to develop and support student research skills and is a feature of NHD’s membership in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium.
The 58 teachers selected represent 40 of National History Day’s affiliates across the country and around the world. The NHD network of 58 affiliates includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and international school programs in China, South Asia, and South Korea.
“This course has particular value now as teachers and students continue to address challenges of non-traditional learning settings required by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “The crucial skills Ms. Harton is learning and honing over the course of this series will benefit her students for many years to come. As a Library of Congress TPS Consortium member, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to offer this opportunity for teachers.”
For several months, Ms. Harton works with her peers around the country and National History Day staff to build knowledge for teaching with primary sources. Upon completing the series, she will have demonstrated the ability to pair Library of Congress resources with active learning strategies to inspire, engage, and support her students.
“Ms. Harton is College Hill Middle School’s very own fountain of knowledge,” commented Leah Sams, principal of College Hill Middle School. “Using primary resources such as diaries, letters and songs, Ms. Harton is teaching our students to think like a historian and develop historical arguments based on primary sources.” Ms. Sams believes this approach has increased student engagement in only a way that a diary in a middle school could. “Ms. Harton is changing the way our students see research and study history.”
About National History Day® (NHD)
NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, The Better Angels Society, Jacqueline B. Mars, and BBVA. For more information, visit nhd.org.
About National History Day in Arkansas
National History Day in Arkansas engages over 7,000 middle- and high-school students each year in hands-on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression through project-based learning. NHD Arkansas is sponsored by the University of Central Arkansas with support from the Arkansas Department of Education. To learn more, please visit https://uca.edu/nhd.