George Mason University Receives $7.5 Million to Create a National History Education Clearinghouse

Historians in the News

George Mason University has been awarded a five-year $7.5 million contract by the U.S. Department of Education to create a National History Education Clearinghouse. The online project, which will be housed in Mason's Center for History and New Media (CHNM), will focus on historical thinking and learning. It will also help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators and show their students why history is relevant to their daily lives.

The project will be led by Mason historians Roy Rosenzweig, Kelly Schrum and Sharon Leon who will manage content research and development, coordinate teacher outreach and direct the design and construction of a new digital center to provide links to the most informative history content on the Internet. Once online, the clearinghouse will provide educators with a host of teaching tools and resources and be a portal through which teachers can share materials related to history.

"As one of the largest federal contracts Mason has ever received, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to use our faculty’s experience and expertise to create an invaluable resource for K-12 history teachers throughout the country," said Mason President Alan Merten. "CHNM is among the leading national digital history and digital humanities centers in the country, and I am very proud that Mason will play such a prominent role in this important and innovative project."

Working with project partners Stanford University, the American Historical Association and the National History Center, the clearinghouse will have both on- and offline components. These web and non-web-based resources will be grounded in the latest and most significant scholarship on history and history education, as well as research on best practices in teacher professional development and an awareness of the possibilities and limitations of the digital medium.

The web site will be organized around seven features: history education news, history content, teaching materials, best practices, policy and research, professional development and teaching American history grants. The clearinghouse will also use the latest advances in digital technology to explore key concepts through interactive images, audio clips and videos of classroom teaching and historians discussing primary sources. Offline support will include a yearly conference, a newsletter and an annual report on the state of history education in the United States.

About the Center for History and New Media
Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. CHNM combines cutting edge digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as a broad historical literacy. CHNM's work has been recognized with major awards and grants from the American Historical Association, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Library of Congress, and the Sloan, Mellon, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Gould, Delmas and Kellogg foundations.

About George Mason University
George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.

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