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California Educators - Attend the American Historical Association Conference in San Francisco January 4-7

San Francisco, CA, January 4-7, 2024


The annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) is the largest meeting of professional historians in the world. This year, the AHA will convene from January 4th to January 7th in San Francisco for a conference that offers extraordinary opportunities to engage with recent scholarship in history, attend panels on K-12 education, and to participate in hands-on workshops and for K-12 educators. The AHA is encouraging California Educators to join us by offering discounted registration rates for K-12 teachers.  Additionally, all K-12 educators at public schools in San Francisco are eligible to have their registration fee waived entirely. Read on to learn more about how this conference will benefit educators and see what sessions are offered each day of the conference. 


Thursday afternoon, the meeting will begin with panels including Peeking Behind the Professional Curtain: Public Facing Research and the Application of History, a roundtable in which historians from the History Departments at UC Davis and UC Irvine, the CHSSP, Marchand Center for Public Engagement, and will discuss the value of collaboration in public history initiatives. Panelists will demonstrate how research inviting the public to be stakeholders in the production of academic knowledge benefits all participants.

A simultaneous panel chaired by Laura Westhoff titled “Education Programs, History Departments, and the Current State of K–12 Teacher Preparation.” This panel which includes scholars from Muskingum University, Stanford, and Illinois State University will discuss academic programs and majors available to future K-12 history and social science teachers with particular attention towards the home departments of such programs. Panelists ask what it means for the discipline for such training to be housed in professional schools such as schools of education and how history and social science departments can contribute to future training. Meanwhile, Emily Fisher Gray will host a roundtable of historians discussing Reacting to the Past, a form of  historical role play, and its uses in the classroom. Part Two of this conversation will continue Saturday morning. These sessions will be followed by a panel that will further discuss collaboration between schools of education and history departments in supporting educators amidst controversy and attacks on K-12 education. Yet another late afternoon panel titled Recent Developments in Advanced Placement US History, World History, and African American Studies Courses will discuss how AP courses have adapted to developments in the discipline. At the same time, a panel titled What K-12 Teachers Want Us to Know About Entering Students offers university educators an opportunity to learn from recently collected survey data from K-12 educators.


The plenary session Thursday night titled The Politicization of History Education at the State Level: Legislation and Standards will concern the ways that educators can defend history education.





The morning will begin with a practicum on Developing High Schools Student’s Historiographic Thinking. A later morning offering, a workshop on Teaching Writing in the Age of AI. Note that educators must register in advance for this timely workshop and are encouraged bring samples of writing assignments so that participants can get the most out of the event. In the afternoon, the CHSSP's Nancy McTygue will join a panel on The Civic Value of a History Education. This session will include discussion of the Yolo County Youth Civics Initiative (YCYCI) and California's Seal of Civic Engagement. During the busy afternoon, the AHA will offer this year’s installment of the series “State of the Field for Busy Teachers” series which will focus on new scholarship in Pacific Rim History. Two of the three panelists for this 90 minute discussion are California educators whose insights should be particularly valuable for other K-12 educators in the Golden State.



Early morning offerings include an Assignments Workshop which promises to discuss the relationships between assignments, assessment, and learning outcomes. Meanwhile, Lee Ann Potter, the Director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress will lead a pedagogical workshop on teaching with primary sources. This session will be followed by another 90 minute session in the series sponsored by the College Board that will continue to demonstrate teaching activities with unusual sources and to introduce educators to strategies for locating additional sources and building lessons around them. Educators might instead plan to attend Part Two of the roundtable on the Reacting to the Past model for role play immersion in the classroom.


Saturday afternoon will be packed with options for educators.The Teaching Things Workshop is a hands-on workshop that will offer ready-made resources and provide educators with tips and training to incorporate artifacts from the AHA’s Digital Object Library into their lessons. Meanwhile, a panel composed of both high school teachers and university faculty titled Who Taught Them That? AP History Courses and College Readiness will discuss the AP exam and how AP courses prepare students for secondary education. Another panel, Ten Years of C3, will consist of a roundtable discussion on College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.


Saturday also includes two social opportunities for educators to network with others invested in teaching and learning. In the afternoon, the Teaching and Learning Networking Event offers a casual opportunity to meet and network. The evening will conclude with a reception for K-12 educators to network and share ideas with each other as well as program directors and AHA staff.



Sunday morning will begin with a roundtable titled Mexican American History Is American History: Strategies for Integrating the Mexican American/Chicana/o Experience in K–16 US History Content. Other sessions later include a session titled Building the Equity Bridge: Creating a K–16 Community of Practice which will investigate how communities of practice between K-12 and college educators create more equitable learning environments for students. Meanwhile, a panel on digital scholarship and media will include discussion of how digital resources improve accessibility and promote inquiry.



While extensive, this post is not comprehensive of all programming at the AHA for educators or that you might be interested in! There are many more conference offerings in the AHA 2023 Program. Check the AHA’s Teaching and Learning guide to programming for more.




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