Teaching American History

Over the past several years, the Maine Humanities Council has partnered with three Maine school districts to provide in-depth programming through the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History grant program. This program, launched by an act of Congress in 2001, strives to encourage and promote the teaching of American history and to inspire appreciation of this subject in teachers and students.

In Maine, scholars have worked with specific cohorts of teachers from the Gardiner, Gorham, and Oxford Hills districts to explore American history through biography. Teachers engage in colloquia throughout the school year, and participate in an intensive summer institute. At the end of the program, they prepare a short biography and create a lesson plan on a chosen subject. Upon returning to their classrooms, teachers are refreshed, renewed, and eager to share their experience in their districts, which represent over 60,000 students.

Here is a sampling of research subjects from previous participants in Teaching American History Through Biography:

  • Holman Day, a Maine humorist, author, and pioneer filmmaker
  • Vincent Hartgen, founder of the Art Department at the University of Maine (Orono) in 1946
  • Painter Thomas Cole and the politics of his Course of Empire series
  • George Mason, the “forgotten” Founding Father

TAH 3 Participants: click here to visit your forum.