News Release Date: October 19, 2011
Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The National Humanities Center (NHC) announces the launch of America in Class® (AIC), a website aimed at providing high school teachers with tools and materials for classroom use, free of charge, at AmericaInClass.org. Attractively presented through a site that is optimized for mobile devices, this new platform gathers and organizes the National Humanities Center's many offerings for teachers—primary source archives; essays from leading scholars on topics in American history and literature; live, online seminars—into a single site, allowing teachers to supplement their own knowledge, find materials for use with their students, and help plan more effective classes on American culture.
"We are pleased to make this upgrade to our online library of teaching resources," says Richard Schramm, NHC vice president for education programs. "Students learn subjects like history and literature best when they are put in the position of scholars—that is, when they study primary resources, draw their own conclusions from sometimes ambiguous or conflicting evidence, and make arguments that organize a host of details into a unified statement."
America In Class also incorporates a new offering from the Center, topically organized "Lessons" focused around selected texts with background information and discussion strategies for teaching specific analytical skills. Developed in collaboration with leading scholars and in accordance with the Common Core State Standards for language arts and social studies, each AIC lesson is built around a framing question—"How did Europeans interpret the New World through some of their earliest visual depictions?" or "How did slavery shape the family life of the enslaved in the American South?" The lessons encourage student understanding and core skills development through close textual analysis. Each lesson culminates with key passages and discussion questions through which teachers can lead students to the lesson's intellectual goal.
Launched initially with six lessons for teachers, America In Class will continue to add new lessons in the coming months, expanding the breadth of topics for in-depth exploration and offering new ways to utilize the rich resources available across the Center's online offerings.
Additional information on the National Humanities Center and its programs for teachers is available at nationalhumanitiescenter.org.
About the National Humanities Center
The National Humanities Center, located in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina, is a privately incorporated independent institute for advanced study in the humanities. Since 1978 the Center has awarded fellowships to leading scholars in the humanities, whose work at the Center has resulted in the publication of more than 1,300 books in all fields of humanistic study. The Center also sponsors programs to strengthen the teaching of the humanities in secondary and higher education.