Only four in ten Americans (40 percent) can actually pass a multiple choice test consisting of items taken from the U.S. citizenship test. This poll shows that traditional methods of teaching American history—memorization of dates, names and events—have not been effective.
The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has announced a new program initiative designed to change the way in which history is taught and learned.
Intended to make American history more engaging for all learners, the WW American History Initiative will include an interactive digital platform geared toward high school students. The platform will give learners new ways to immerse themselves in history, especially in ways that show the relationships between the past, the present, and the future.
The platform will offer experiential learning opportunities such as digital games, videos, and graphic novels, all driven by cutting-edge research in cognitive learning. This effort builds on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s successful HistoryQuest Fellowship professional development program, and will also provide resources and learning opportunities for K–12 history teachers to improve their instructional practice.
Developed with the Institute of Play in New York City, the Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest Fellowship offers professional development for middle and high school American history teachers. The program aims to use the power of games, play, and digital tools to transform both teacher practice and student engagement. In the long term, it may also provide a new disciplinary resource for university-based teacher preparation.
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