University of Southern Mississippi history professors will host a workshop Dec. 5 at the African American Military History Museum in Hattiesburg to help middle and high school social studies teachers incorporate National History Day (NHD) into their curriculum.
Presented by the Southern Miss Department of History, the National History Day and Social Studies Curriculum workshop will help social studies teachers learn the difference between primary and secondary historical sources, as well as understand the value of NHD as a classroom tool. This workshop is open to all teachers in the state and the deadline to register is Dec. 1. 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.”
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.”
NHD is a nationwide competition for middle and high school students. Southern Miss will host the state competition for Mississippi National History Day Feb. 27, 2010. Open to all teachers in the state, this workshop is sponsored by the Junior Historical Society of Mississippi and NHD.
To register for the workshop, contact Dr. Lee Follett at
or 228.214.3360. For more information about NHD, contact Dr. Jeff Bowersox at
, 601.266.4519 or 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.