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From the News column of the November 2007 Perspectives

Center for History and New Media at GMU Receives Federal Grant to Create Clearinghouse on History Education

David M. Darlington, November 2007

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, announced on October 3, 2007, that it has been awarded a contract from the Department of Education, potentially worth up to $7.5 million, to create a National History Education Clearinghouse. The project will be developed over the next five years and maintained by George Mason University’s award-winning Center for History and New Media.

The clearinghouse "will focus on historical thinking and learning" and "will also help K–12 history teachers become more effective educators and show their students why history is relevant to their daily lives," according to a George Mason press release. Tom Scheinfeldt, assistant director of the Center for History and New Media, described the clearinghouse as a database for "teaching materials, best practices, lesson plans, and professional development opportunities for teachers at all levels," to the Washington, D.C., Examiner.

The project will have both online and offline components. As currently conceived, 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—and will include significant digital components. Planners also anticipate holding a yearly conference and publishing a newsletter, an annual report on the state of history education in the United States, and other projects examining the evolution of state history standards and classroom practices. A draft version of the clearinghouse should be available early next year.

The AHA, the National History Center, and Stanford University are partners with the Center for History and New Media in creating the clearinghouse. AHA executive director Arnita Jones said, "The Center for History and New Media is a unique resource for all professionals interested in the teaching of history. The American Historical Association is pleased to be partnering with them on this important new initiative to extend the reach of the Teaching American History grant program."

—David M. Darlington is associate editor of Perspectives .