Wisconsin teachers will be trained to bring more information and a little excitement to our American history curriculum.
It’s being called “Life During Wartime.” With almost a million dollars from the US Department of Education, the test project will bring historians and veterans together with more than 150 history teachers from certain Wisconsin public schools. Richard Zeitlin ( pronounce ), Director of the State Veterans Museum , says school students today have a poor understanding of American History.
“Teaching American History … we’ve got to come up with a basic civic understanding of what we all have – what the citizens of the United States – have collectively experienced, that’s what history is, so that we can think as a people.”
The teacher-training program focuses on the American experience during wartime, from the Civil War to the present, both at home and abroad. Zeitlin says the Veterans Museum will provide the venue for this training and the federal grant will allow a series of experts to better explain this subject to teachers.
“That information will be supplemented by the use of the Veterans Museum’s collection of historical memorabilia, collected over a long time with a very substantial collection of artifacts. People learn in different ways. Some people learn by reading, others learn by seeing, touching, feeling. We’re going to provide a well-rounded approach that will deal with multiple ways of learning.”
Zeitlin has confidence this program will be successful. Wisconsin has 446,000 veterans in the state, which is a substantial part of our population and we can’t ignore that. Also, he says, the Badger State is always on the forefront of new ideas.
“The programs that are adopted in the state, by the state, with the state, around the state are so often very innovative and they are copied, for example, as they were in the Progressive era – just to use an example that most people might remember – they’re copied all around the country.”
The three-year project is set to begin in July.
Partners in the Project :
US Department of Education
Wisconsin Dept of Veterans Affairs
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
University of Wisconsin History Department
Madison Area Technical College (MATC)
The Cooperative Education Service Area No. 5 (CESA 5, a rural school district located in central Wisconsin). (pronounced see-suh)
Madison school district