The Teaching with Primary Sources Western Region Project is a grant-funded program that provides teachers in the western region of the United States with access to primary sources from our nation's past. The program, which began in 2018, will continue until 2023 and is funded by a $2 million grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The project's goal is to help teachers make history come alive for their students by making it relevant to their lives today. Teachers who participate in this program will receive training on how to use primary sources effectively in their classrooms, and they will be able to borrow books, films, photographs, audio recordings, and more from various collections throughout their schools' districts. Teachers who are interested in participating should contact their local school board or district office.
The project includes four institutions: Arizona State University (ASU), California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Each institution has partnered with several schools within its state or region to provide teachers with professional development opportunities and materials they can use in their classrooms.
The purpose of this project is to increase student achievement by increasing access to high-quality primary sources for use in classroom instruction. This will be achieved through partnerships between institutions of higher education and secondary schools that serve as centers for teacher training.
The project works with teachers in grades 4-8 who want to incorporate primary source documents into their curriculum as part of a unit on U.S. history or social studies. Teachers who participate in the program receive access to a database of primary sources that they can use in their classrooms, along with training materials designed specifically for their grade level and subject matter focus.
The success rate so far has been outstanding: 98% of participating teachers report that using primary sources made learning more engaging for students, and 100% said that the experience helped them better understand how historians use evidence when writing about the past.