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#IamCHSSP: Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio

created Jun 11, 2015 11:22 AM

Q:  Please describe your connection with the Project.  When did you first get involved and what have you done?           

A: I was fortunate to be the first Director of the History Project at UCI in 2000.  Those first years were marked by a great deal of learning, creativity and building a bridge to teachers and schools.  It was an exciting time when we began to develop relationships between local teachers and the university around our shared love of history and our common belief in students.

We charted new territory developing partnerships to innovate academic literacy instruction, wrote several successful Teaching American History grants, and drew on the strengths of our world and U.S. history faculty, teachers and graduate students to develop curricula that I still think is some of the best I have ever seen.

Q:  What is a favorite moment you've had in connection with the Project?

A: There have been many moments that are memorable.  One that I treasure is a meeting in my office with the current staff including a middle school teacher on loan, several graduate students, myself, and a faculty member.  We were collaboratively visioning and planning a new program.  It was one of many moments with this collective when ideas flowed, a program took shape by continuously being reworked and improved with smart and interesting contributions by all.  We all couldn't talk fast enough.  A colleague saw us through the glass window and came and spoke with me afterwards.  He said,  "I don't know what you all were talking about in there, but it looked like magic was happening."

Q: If you were to recommend the History Project to a friend, what would you say?

A: The History Project is an intellectual home for those of us who believe in the power of history instruction to change the way students think and therefore to impact the world.  You can find a virtual or physical intellectual home, a community of learners, and a vehicle to continually grow in your practice as a teacher and your knowledge of the discipline.  You and your students will be better because of your engagement.

Q: What has the Project meant to you, and what do you see as its role in the future of history education?

A: The Project had a profound effect on me and my career trajectory.  It helped me to understand the need for the university to see its mission and engagement more broadly.  It directly led to my current role as Executive Director of the Center for Educational Partnerships where I oversee the subject matter projects as well as K-12 academic preparation and undergraduate student success and retention programming.

Its role in the next stage of history education will be to help bring to fruition the promise of the Common Core to create truly educated, analytic thinkers who can evaluate and formulate arguments based on evidence, as well as write, and read critically.  Imagine!

- Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio, Ph.D

Executive Director of the Center for Educational Partnerships, UCI

The History Project at UCI

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