Collaborative Local History and Action Civics

How can your students connect across the country to share and learn from each other's local histories and civic action? 

Map of USA with hypothetical classroom locations connected by lines representing collaboration

We're looking for teachers, district administrators, and other educators interested in developing and piloting the new Collaborative Local History and Action Civics program. This program aims to connect classrooms from different regions through the study and sharing of local history, issues, and events to inform possible local civic engagement.

Guided by student interest, the program is flexibly designed to take many forms: exploring facets of local indigenous history, researching patterns of segregation and discrimination within communities across time, examining the local impact of climate change, or studying significant events that marked shifts in power or ushered in significant change.

Teachers will integrate concepts and pedagogies from critical historical inquiry, Ethnic Studies and the Integrated Action Civics framework into their course curriculum throughout the year. Students will then apply these concepts and analytical strategies in their local historical research and action projects.

Teachers and students will meet and work with another classroom exploring similar themes in a different part of the country. Through Zoom sessions, shared documents, and other digital platforms, groups of students will present, discuss, compare and contrast their local histories. Students will then collaborate in planning and acting on contemporary issues and events within and across their communities. 

District administrators can support this work by sharing this program with teachers who may be interested, or by incorporating this framework into their curricular offerings and trainings.

Note: This project is in the preliminary stage of planning and development. We encourage interested educators to apply to participate or contact us for further information.

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CLHAC Project Overview:

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Program Goals

The primary goals for this project are to:

  • Engage with Local Communities: Students work with and learn from local community leaders, organizations, museums and other institutions throughout the program.

  • Collaborate Across Regions: Facilitate national, cross-regional collaboration among classrooms to elevate overarching themes and share local particularities. Connect students that are too often regionally siloed and disconnected from, or even at odds with, each other. 

  • Develop Critical Historical Literacy: Students identify and question traditional dominant historical narratives and elevate counter-narratives through the voices from marginalized communities.
  • Reframe US and World History: Support teachers and students in reframing their history curriculum to elevate the related contemporary, local, and indigenous histories and issues.
  • Empower Students for Civic Engagement: Develop and share knowledge and skills of civic empowerment. Strategize collaboratively, act locally.

Students working on stakeholder analysis

Program Components

  • Classroom Collaboration: Participating teachers will pair with teachers from other classrooms. We seek different types of regional and demographic pairings to encourage conversations across political and cultural realities.
  • Community Collaboration: Teachers will seek partners in their communities that can support students in learning and acting on local history. 

  • Curriculum Development: Teachers will augment their existing curriculum with materials and strategies from the Integrated Action Civics Project and California’s State Board Approved Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.
  • Teacher Professional Development Workshops:  3 to 5 half-day Zoom workshops will allow teachers to meet and work with one another to prepare for the program.  
  • Coaching/Observations: Participating teachers and classrooms will be observed and will work with a coach throughout the program for support.
  • Evaluation of Materials: Feedback from teachers and students will help to continually develop and improve program materials and procedures. 
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Program Timeline

This project is in the initial stages of development. We are seeking funding and connecting with interested educators across the country. 

Approximate Timeline

  • 2023-2024 Academic Year: Grant Writing
  • Winter/Spring 2023-24: Program & Curriculum Development
  • Winter/Spring l 2023-4: Recruitment of Participants
  • Spring 2024: Preliminary Pilot of Materials
  • Summer 2024: Launch Program / Professional Development
  • 2024-2025 School Year: Implement Program, Year 1
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Program Leads

The Collaborative Local History and Action Civics program is being developed through a partnership between the Integrated Action Civics Project and Brad Fogo, Associate Professor at the Graduate College of Education, San Francisco State University, and former Director of Curriculum for the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG).

Advisory Committee: Our Advisory Committee will actively participate in guiding and implementing this program.  We are honored to have the participation and support from these educators:

  • Abeer Ramadan-Shinnawi, Educational Consultant, Baltimore County Schools
  • Ashia Bomani Ojore, Teacher on Special Assignment, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Brandy Siddiqi, K-12 Content Lead for Social Studies & Ethnic Studies, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Chris Martell, Associate Professor, UMass Boston’s College of Education and Human Development
  • Danielle Babineau, Teacher, AICE US History & Global Perspectives, Florida
  • Eric Soto-Shed, Teacher Educator, Harvard Graduate School of Education 
  • Estevan Leyva, Coordinator, Ethnic Studies, Humanities, and Related Social Sciences. Los Angeles Unified School District 
  • Ishmael Jimenez, Director of Social Studies Curriculum, The School District of Philadelphia
  • Monica Pelayo Lock, Director of Education & Community Engagement, Director of Education & Community Engagement, History San José