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The Clio Project: Thinking Like an Historian

The project's high-need southeast Wyoming districts serve a largely rural and growing migrant population in a geographic area of more than 16,000 square miles, so one goal is to define a professional development model that meets the needs of rural schools. Activities will include two 4-week instructional modules and two document-based question workshops during the school year; in the summer, teachers will be involved in a 10-day field excursion and a 1-week curriculum workshop, during which they will develop lesson plans. Teachers can participate in a single year of the program, then choose to continue for an additional year or two; the cadre will include approximately 40 teachers each year, some new and some continuing. As they learn to think like historians, teachers will study decisions and actions of specific people—government and military leaders, soldiers, tribal leaders, businessmen and everyday citizens—whose choices changed the outcome of history. Strategies will include historical inquiry skills, with a significant focus on document-based questioning, and strategies to help students develop critical reading, thinking and writing skills. The Center for History and New Media will lead training on teaching history in the digital age, introducing digital research libraries and multimedia technologies. Graduate credits will be available for completion of certain activities. Teams of teachers will collaborate to produce and implement classroom curricula; these and other materials (e.g., hands-on simulations, games, how-to seminars, distance learning materials) will be available to other teachers through a Web site and participant-led peer workshops.