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Emerging America supports K-12 teachers of History with high quality workshops and courses in-person (in New England) and online. We also advance civics and service-learning projects, build exemplary online exhibits, and post resources and information to this website and social media. Free online resources include exemplary lesson plans, K-5 curriculum, primary source sets, assessments, "Teaching Strategies"  to advance accessibility, and other classroom activities and tools, a weekly History eNews resource blast, the Emerging America blog, Facebook, and Twitter. 

The Collaborative for Educational Services Professional Development Department launched the Emerging America program in 2006 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Program.

Current major programs are described below.

Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities and for English Learners
Facing the Future

Due to a lack of background knowledge and discipline-specific as well as general academic vocabulary, struggling learners often have great difficulty with history. Such students may include Special Education students, English Learners, Court-Involved youth, Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learners. Building on the Collaborative’s experience with struggling learners, Emerging America offers courses and online resources to help teachers to support these students.

The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) at the Collaborative for Educational Services
Logo of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program

In 2010 the Collaborative joined the TPS Consortium, providing free workshops and courses to support inquiry-based use of primary sources, featuring the vast collections of the Library of Congress. Topics range across U.S. and World History, Geography, Science, and English Language Arts. Programs emphasize strategies to support struggling learners. Drawing on the expertise of classroom teachers, and with contributions from specialists in Special Education and English Language Learning, CES posts a wide variety of exemplary lessons, primary source sets, and other resources in our Teacher Resources Library.

History's Mysteries K-5 Curriculum
July 5, 1913 cover of Saturday Evening Post - two girls salue, one holds a flag with cute puppy
Historical Inquiry for Elementary Classrooms - Working with teachers Laurie Risler and Kelley Brown, Emerging America supported development of this ready-to-use K-5 curriculum. Units build from a question framed as a mystery. Each unit pursues three or four lesson-level mysteries. Each lesson has a clickable presentation with optional narration. Each also includes customizable handouts and all other needed materials. History's Mysteries features primary sources from Massachusetts collections and the Library of Congress. Piloted in 2020 and available free. See the Professional Development page for upcoming workshops. 
Civics Education
Students in Palmer's after school program receive a grant for the Bully Busters program.
Emerging America has been a leader in civic engagement since 2006. Rich Cairn chaired the 2018 Massachusetts Civic Education Institute to implement a new statewide 8th grade civics class. Contact to arrange district professional development to plan civic engagement projects and civics curriculum. 
National Endowment for the Humanities
Logo of the National Endowment for the Humanities

In 2015 and 2019, with support from the NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Summer Workshops, Emerging America brought 70 teachers to Western Massachusetts for the week-long program: Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry. Teachers investigated area museums, centered out of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.  

Teacher Leadership in Civics Education
Logo of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project.

Western Massachusetts Writing Project is a professional community of teachers who value reflection and inquiry; who care about issues of race, gender, language, class, and culture; who come together to deepen our experience as writers, to share our knowledge and expertise, to transform our practice, to improve student learning, and to develop expertise and leadership. A 2018 monograph documents the Western Massachusetts Writing Project Content Literacy Leadership Project. It describes a path for civic engagement leadership specifically for history and social studies teachers, as well as for teachers of science and of other disciplines.

Windows on History
Photo of several boys dressed for factory  work. A younger barefoot boy smokes a pipe, probably a prank.

As they investigate topics in local history, students learn to see connections with national events and stories, and to build interpretations of the past that are guided by careful critical questioning. Together, students, teachers, and community partners can create websites to share their discoveries with audiences beyond the classroom.

Upcoming Workshops

Course runs Nov-Dec 2021, and introduces exemplars of best practice pedagogy for English Learners in History and Social Studies classrooms. It demonstrates dual…
Join us November 3 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm for an Introduction to Elementary Inquiry using History’s Mysteries. Register Here The Introduction webinar will also b…
This online course will harness current events to deepen understanding of immigration across American history, from the founding of the nation through today. L…