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#IamCHSSP: Carlos Noreña

created Jun 11, 2015 11:40 AM

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

A: My first experience with the Project was as a faculty speaker in a summer workshop (on the theme of art and imagery as historical evidence).  I was so impressed by the engagement of the teachers, and so struck by their enthusiasm and the incisiveness of their questions and comments, that when I was later asked to serve as faculty coordinator I accepted with great enthusiasm!

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

A: My favorite moment in connection with the Project is not really a single moment, but rather a recurrent pattern, which is to see previous participants in History Project workshops stepping up to serve as facilitators for the other workshops.  It’s such a wonderful reminder of our shared commitment to our craft, and to the constant challenge of improving as teachers. 

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

A: I would happily recommend the History Project, and would say that it provides essential professional development for primary and secondary school teachers, mainly in and around the Bay Area.  It also serves, crucially, for the transfer of knowledge from libraries, archives, and seminar rooms to primary and secondary school classrooms.  The key operations of the History Project are workshops, held throughout the school year, and summer institutes.  At History Project workshops, teachers develop a range of pedagogical skills focused on lesson plans, strategies for reading and writing, and the evaluation of students, all connected in one way or another with historical topics. 

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

A: Though the History Project is primarily oriented towards primary- and secondary-school teachers, it has also made me a much better instructor at the university level.  What has really been brought home to me time and time again is the similar set of challenges faced by history instructors at all levels.  In particular, I have learned that we all work to get students to think historically—to weigh conflicting evidence critically, and to make compelling arguments that seek to explain change over time—and to develop a historical sensibility about the past.  I am hopeful, then, that the History Project can continue to bridge the gap between middle school, high school, and university teachers, and to reinforce the important pedagogical continuities over the whole K-16 curriculum.

- Carlos Noreña

Associate Professor, Department of History, UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project