History and Social Studies

Emerging America Program Logo

History and Social Studies

Emerging America: Teaching Inquiry in History & Social Studies

The Emerging America Program, as part  of the Collaborative for Educational Services, offers professional development, curriculum support, and online resources for K-12 teachers to engage students in learning history and social studies. We help educators to utilize local and national primary sources that bring history to life and develop critical thinking skills, a vital part of state and national literacy and subject area standards.

Through the support of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Emerging America opens access to a wealth of resources and materials. Funded by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Program, Emerging America offers free and low cost workshops to support teachers throughout Massachusetts and online. Educators learn and practice strategies for using Library of Congress free online resources to engage students, teach inquiry through the use of primary sources, and help students achieve Common Core State Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

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 National Endowment for the Humanities logo
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Our Approach

Students become energized to learn history when they understand how the past relates to their lives. With that in mind, Emerging America helps teachers develop lessons that speak to issues students care most about, including local communities, social justice, and making a difference. With primary sources built into the curriculum, students learn to think critically as they analyze sources, contrast divergent historical perspectives, and wrestle with their own questions about the world. Literacy experts infuse practical strategies to help students learn to read and write about informational texts.

Based on the CES' 35 years of leadership in overcoming barriers for ALL learners, Emerging America  emphasizes strategies to support struggling learners with a diversity of needs, with a particular focus on addressing the needs of English Language Learners and Special Education students.  

Professional Development through Emerging America

Through extensive and expert project teams and partnerships, Emerging America offers educators a rich and diverse array of workshops, courses, and presentations. Many offer optional graduate credit in History or General Education.

Programs include:

  • Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program at the Collaborative

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshops 

  • Onsite Consulting and Training (tailored professional development programs in your school or district)

For information on upcoming workshops check under Upcoming Events on this page.

Social Studies Professional Learning Community (PLC)

We coordinate Social Studies PLC, a supportive community of dynamic history and social studies school leaders. The PLC meets regularly, with no cost for participation. To learn more, click here.

Online Resources

Emerging America offers robust web resources including primary sources, online exhibits, lessons, assessments, and other teaching tools.

Learn more about Emerging America at emergingamerica.org.

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Emerging America collaborates actively with many organizations and agencies, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of History, Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Disability History Museum.

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On-site Consulting & Training

To discuss a range of possible services, including curriculum mapping, performance-based assessment, curriculum development, and training of trainers, please contact Emerging America staff.

Rich Cairn
Director, Emerging America
413.586.4900 x5936
Karen Albano photo
History eNews Editor, Emerging America