During my National Park Service years, I was privileged to work on a project initiated by Congress to serve as a national model for heritage education. This included development of the marketing and promotional material to communicate with participating teachers and program supporters.
The initiative was piloted as Heritage Education–Louisiana. Classroom teachers, preservation specialists, and learning professionals were consulted to ensure that the program met preservation ethics and provided professional development for teachers in innovative and evolving educational theology and techniques.
Meeting the needs of classroom teachers who must not only cover curriculum standards and benchmarks, but must also consider high-stakes testing, the program aided teachers in creating integrated lessons and activities that use local cultural resources such as archaeological sites, historic structures, and cultural landscapes as the foundation.
Workshops, Mini Grants, a website and quarterly newsletters were avenues by which the program strove to meet its goals of:
- Enhancing and enriching Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum;
- Instilling a sense of cultural stewardship in tomorrow’s leaders; and
- Serving as a national model for other states.
The program lost its congressional funding after the pilot phase, and limped along until about 2010, but it’s still a worthy model for heritage education. Everyone who participated in it saw its value. You can read more about some of the resulting products and activities at its legacy web presence.
Outstanding products include:
- The Community Connections Lessons and Workbook
- Focus on 2000: A Heritage Education Perspective (1997-08)
- The Plantations and Agriculture online lesson module
- Refocusing on Heritage Education: A National Survey (2004-28)
The Summary Report embedded below won an Addy Gold Award for best print publication. It was developed with a matching program brochure and website.
Heritage Lessons was a quarterly newsletter for and about teachers in the program.