Plainfield High School World History teacher, Chris Wilburn, is one of 120 teachers throughout the country selected to participate in a National History Day (NHD) professional development program this spring. The course focuses on using Library of Congress online resources to develop and support historical arguments. Chris was selected by the NHD Indiana affiliate, the Indiana Historical Society.
Above: PHS World History teacher, Chris Wilburn
Throughout the course, the selected teachers work together (virtually) to build knowledge they can then use in their classrooms as they prepare students to research, support and present historical arguments based on resources they discover in the online LIbrary of Congress.
Chris explained that NHD chooses a different theme each year for the context of research projects. This year’s theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.
The NHD experience is helping Chris incorporate the vast resources of the Library of Congress into her classroom. And the efforts are paying off, as students have different experiences about the way they understand and view many events in our history. “My students are also benefiting from additional research opportunities,” she explained, “which leads to deeper, more interesting, and more individualized learning experiences than traditional classroom activities.”
At the end of the day, Chris sees a transformation in her classroom. “Students are more engaged in real historical work and thinking, and that makes the course more interesting, and more enjoyable, for my students.”
Congratulations to Chris on her selection for this opportunity, and thank you to the Indiana Historical Society for supporting local educators.