Lisa Pennington, Todd Ogle, David Hicks, Chris Bunin, and Patrick Touart stand in front of the flaming sword, constructed in memory of those who died from the U.S. Army Second Division during the First World War

American scholars partner to create First World War education programme

Posted on centenarynews.com on 10 December 2013
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Virginia Tech, the University of North Carolina and The American Battle Monuments Commission have announced that they and their partners will create a "World War I focused education programme".

As America approaches the Centennial of the First World War, the partners have stated their commitment to help students "understand the service, experience and sacrifice of Americans that served and died during the Great War".

They aim to develop a teacher-scholar programme that helps teachers to create and develop lesson plans for fellow teachers.

The programme will be entitled: The Transatlantic Teacher Scholars Program: Change Over Time and Place in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial.

A team of education experts from three universities and colleges, and 12 middle and high schools, will lead efforts to create a "hands-on" curriculum using the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Verdun, France.

"Great opportunity"

By autumn 2014, the partners aim to make lesson plans and teaching materials created during the teacher-scholar programme available online and free to download.

The Secretary of The American Battle Monuments Commission described the education programme as "a great opportunity to introduce American children to all those we honour at our World War I overseas cemeteries".

Carol Mullen, Director of the School of Education, and Associate Dean for Professional Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech said: “The Transatlantic Teacher Scholars Program: Change Over Time and Place in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial is a very exciting and innovative collaboration that will serve as a powerful educational portal into America’s forgotten war".

“The programme reflects the School of Education’s commitment to facilitating inquiry-based digital history as well as humanities professional development initiatives that are designed to ultimately maximise students’ opportunities for authentic learning”.

The partners have been awarded a contract of $357,298 for the "experiential professional development programme", which will provide "the resources, support and opportunities for teachers across the country to craft inquiry-based units and lessons that are grounded in best practices as well as state standards". 

Source: Virginia Tech News press release

Images courtesy of Virginia Tech News

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News