This summer, Atkins teacher Kris Dearmin will be heading to the Library of Congress.
Dearmin, who teaches such subjects as AP Psychology, African-American Studies and Latin American Studies at Atkins Academic & Technology High School, was chosen from among more than 300 educators from across the country to participate in the Library of Congress’ Summer Teacher Institute, part of the Teaching with Primary Sources program. The institute will run from June 18 to August 3.
Dearmin will participate in the second session, which is June 25-29.
Each year, the Library of Congress provides the opportunity for K-12 educators to attend one of its five teacher institutes in Washington, D.C. During each of the five-day programs, participants work with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom. This work will be supported by exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website.
Applicants to the Summer Teacher Institute reflect the diversity of the world of K-12 education. Those selected come from 34 different states – representing large metropolitan school districts, suburban and smaller, rural school districts – and three foreign countries, including Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Netherlands. The expertise provided by the Library of Congress during the institutes can benefit every level of K-12 education and every curricular area.
There will be three sessions focusing on general subjects and two special sessions: one focusing on science, technology and engineering, and one focusing on WWI resources. The WWI session coincides with the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWI. The science session draws on subject-related treasures of the Library, with an emphasis on such topics as the nature of science, scientific and engineering practices, the historical context of discovery and invention, and more.
Teaching with primary sources is a powerful way to help students ask engaged, probing questions, develop critical-thinking skills, construct knowledge and inspire original research. All educators may freely access classroom materials, teaching tools and strategies for teaching with primary sources from the Library’s site for teachers at loc.gov/teachers/.
Primary sources are the raw materials of history—original documents and objects that were created during the time period under study. They are different from secondary sources—accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience. Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical-thinking skills and constructing new knowledge. Teachers working in the Library’s collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.