About Debating US History
Debating U.S. History provides a comprehensive college-readiness curriculum for a U.S. History and Government Regents-based course as well as a series of day-long professional development workshops and classroom visits to help participating teachers implement the program and adapt it to their needs.
The Debating U.S. History curriculum enables teachers to:
- Concentrate on the craft of teaching, including customizing materials for student needs, instead of searching for resources and designing curriculum;
- Embed explicit reading and writing strategies in an inquiry-oriented course that prepares students for the demands of college-level study in the social sciences;
- Shift the teaching of the high school U.S. History survey course from presentational to inquiry mode, so that students perceive history not as a story to be memorized, but as events to be interpreted using documentary evidence;
- Engage and motivate students by exploring genuine, challenging historical questions (that U.S. historians still grapple with);
- Complicate conventional stories and take a clear-eyed look at injustice, social conflict, and change so that students can better understand their present world, how it got that way, and what might be done to influence its trajectory.
Debating U.S. History professional development features:
- A unique and powerful professional community focused on collegial and active learning that directly addresses classroom practice and is based in the actual materials teachers are using;
- A two-day summer training and full-day professional development sessions during the academic year where teachers hone strategies for general academic and history-specific literacy instruction;
- Focused work within these sessions to facilitate adapting the curriculum to specific classroom contexts.