Professor Baron Receives AERA Funding to Host National Conference

Professor Christine Baron received funding from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to organize a national conference on how to utilize the knowledge contained within our nation’s many historical sites into curriculum that can be incorporated into social studies curriculum. Baron will organize the conference in coordination with Brenda Trofanenko of Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The National Conference will be held on February 28th to March 2nd, 2014, hosted at Boston University. It will focus on one central question: What are History Teachers Learning at Historic Sites? The conference stems from Baron’s current research, which studies using historical sites as “history laboratories” to improve history educator preparation programs.

Below is an abstract detailing the AERA national conference:

This conference will bring together experts in the Learning Sciences, History, and Museum education to investigate the effective use of historic sites as centers for history teacher education and professional development. Particular emphasis will be placed upon exploring the use of the full range of historical materials—buildings, material culture, and documents—to develop historical thinking, problem-solving, and analysis. We seek to gather a core group of 15 researchers to participate in a two-day conference at Boston University to (a) develop a status report on the state of empirical research in this field, (b) identify effective protocols for discerning and documenting teacher learning at historic sites, (c) identify specific pedagogies, methodologies, assessment and evaluation tools that demonstrably promote analysis of historical materials on-site and classroom integration (d) develop a research agenda to further the field and (e) stimulate partnerships in which to execute the necessary research. To stimulate partnerships, conference participants will attend a reception with representatives from museums and historic sites interested in collaborative research activities. We will disseminate key findings on an open access website and produce an edited volume of conference papers.