As a national focus on improving education emerges, social studies teachers are evaluating the need for more effective and efficient methods to develop critical thinking and historical awareness skills in students. National History Day (NHD) is a proven teaching tool that helps teachers incorporate primary and secondary historical sources into their classroom curriculums.
The National History Day and Social Studies Curriculum workshop, presented by The University of Southern Mississippi Department of History and the Junior Historical Society of Mississippi, will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on May 1 at the Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. This workshop is open to all teachers in the state and the deadline to register is Monday, April 26. Continuing education credit is also available.
“If we, as educators, are interested in our students becoming better citizens they must have a good grasp of the past,” said Jeff Bowersox, assistant professor of history at Southern Miss and state coordinator for NHD. “We’ll help teachers teach history in a way that makes it come alive for students, and we’ll spread the word about what resources are available to them through NHD.”
The value of NHD in teaching will be presented through workshop sessions with Southern Miss history professors. Bowersox maintains that teachers would have better results if they integrated more primary sources into their curriculum.
“When covering the civil rights movement for example, it’s useful to focus on Mississippi specifically and to use documents that are in our archives and libraries,” he said. “Students could read first-hand accounts of real people, and this creates a different familiarity for the student.
“They can understand the past in its own terms: how people understood the world around them, why they did what they did – it’s more than just memorization; it’s helping students make connections.”
To register for the workshop, contact Bowersox at
or 601.266.4519. For more information about NHD, visit http://www.usm.edu/history/NHD/Welcome.html
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.