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#IamCHSSP: Jasmin Brown

created Jun 10, 2015 10:58 AM

Did you know Jasmin Brown, CHSSP participant, teacher leader, and curriculum developer, was a conference star? In this interview, she outlines her contributions to CHSSP, shares her views on CHSSP in the Common Core Era, and reveals her most memorable moment.

Help us thank teacher leaders like Jasmin for their work at our 25th Anniversary celebration this November at UCLA.

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

A: I have been involved with the projects at the CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Long Beach sites for nine years. In 2006, I became a participant through the Lynwood Unified School District partnership and Teaching American History grant. As a teacher leader, I have participated in various projects with the CHSSP, such as curriculum development.  I co-authored the Civil War History Blueprint, [curriculum] aligned to the California Common Core and History Content Standards. I’ve also presented webinars focused on historically based inquiry, literacy, and writing strategies. In addition, I have also had the pleasure of presenting at the California Council for History Education, the California Council for Social Studies and the National Council for History Education, along with local workshops for teachers in neighboring school districts.

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

A: My favorite moment that I have had in connection with the project is when I was selected to do a promotional video for the project. The filming process was extremely exciting for both my students and me.  It was an honor to attend the American Historical Association Conference in Boston, where the video was played throughout the conference hotel and meeting rooms. A workshop attendee walked up to me during the conference and said, “You are the teacher from Lynwood.” I felt like a star and smiled the entire duration of the conference.

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

A: If I were to recommend the History Project to a friend, I would tell them that it is extremely beneficial to your professional development as a history teacher. It gives you the opportunity to enhance your historical knowledge and teaching methodologies. Teachers are taken beyond the standard form of history instruction, which only requires that they teach dates, facts, and vocabulary. It also shows you how to develop your students’ critical thinking skills as well as their abilities to think like historians. You learn how to corroborate primary versus secondary sources, use textual evidence when examining text, and determine the credibility of sources. Historical thinking is a very challenging approach to history instruction and the project places great emphasis on equipping teachers to meet this non-traditional approach to learning.

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

A: The CHSSP has really helped me hone my craft as a history teacher. Collaborating with college professors and my secondary school colleagues has improved my content knowledge and lesson delivery. My instruction is now more focused on preparing my students, with the skill set that is needed, for survival in college, and the real world, rather than just their current grade level. I think that the CHSSP will be a very essential institution to helping teachers to transit into the new Common Core era. The projects that I have participated in, such as the History Blueprint and the webinars, are geared towards the implementation of Common Core [State Standards] and serve as an examples for model history instruction.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

A: I look forward to witnessing the impact that the CHSSP will have on this new wave of instruction. I also hope that more local school districts will become exposed to their innovative approaches and methods to teaching history. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to truly improving the teaching profession.

-Jasmin Brown

Teacher, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Lynwood Unifi­ed School District

The History Project at CSU Long Beach