A lost 1945 telegram announcing the death of 2nd Lt. Royce E. Griffin during World War II was recently returned to his family during an Advanced Placement American History class at Heritage High School in Vancouver, Wash. The pilot's nephew, John Griffin, is the school's dean of students. "Wow! This is a primary document for our [A]dvanced [P]lacement history kids," Griffin said.
Students in Leon County, Fla., recently explored the multicultural history of their community as part of the Blending Lives program. In its 13th year, the program's theme for this year is "Viva Florida" and curriculum includes the Black Seminoles and the Gulla/Geechee culture along with Spanish and French influences. On Tuesday, a group of fourth-grade students visited the John G. Riley House Museum, named after a Florida educator who was one of the first African-Americans to own property in Tallahassee, Fla.
Researchers uncovered clues that suggest the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine during the Civil War, was less than 20 feet from its Union ship target when its torpedo exploded. The find suggests that crew members were intentionally detonating the weapon and not on a suicide mission. Researchers say it helps explain why the Hunley disappeared after successfully sinking the Union ship in 1864. "You have to remember, what these guys were trying to do had never been done before. They were constantly improving their new weapon as they learned during testing," said senior Hunley archaeologist Maria Jacobsen.
Most Michigan residents say that investing in increased training, professional development and evaluations for teachers is the best approach to reforming K-12 education, according to a report from the Center for Michigan. "It's not about pouring money into it -- it's about building more supports and systems, and building capacities of local schools to do that," said Amber Arellano, executive director of Education Trust-Midwest, an education reform group that recommends teacher mentors, professional learning communities and National Board Certification for teachers.
A high-school history teacher at Waukegan High School in Illinois has abandoned the traditional focus on names and dates when teaching the subject. Instead, Joshua Bill, winner of the National History Teacher of the Year Award from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, asks students to think critically, analyze documents and evaluate opinions. Educators say they expect such techniques to gain even more traction as the Common Core State Standards are implemented in many states.