Teaching Iowa History receives national recognition

Teaching Iowa History, a statewide educational initiative in which Iowa PBS has partnered with the Iowa Museum Association, was recently recognized at a ceremony during the American Alliance of Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. Teaching Iowa History raises awareness of the treasure trove of knowledge and insight held in Iowa's museums — and the importance of museums and their partners in preserving primary sources that inform the historical identity of Iowans, Iowa communities and Iowa's role in the nation and world. 

The statewide project is led by the Iowa Museum Association, Iowa PBS, the University of Northern Iowa, Simpson College, Graceland University and the Geographic Alliance of Iowa. Teaching Iowa History harnesses the stewardship and educational power of museums, which care for, preserve and document the art, history and culture of Iowa. 

The initiative combines the objects in museum collections with grade-specific, standards-based lessons. It has grown to include a database of historical objects for use in illustrating lessons, as well as an ever-growing collection of lesson plans, historical essays and links to additional instructional resource supports. Teaching Iowa History resources are accessible to all at TeachingIowaHistory.com.

The immersive project provides an opportunity for pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and museum educators to create lesson plans aligned with the new Iowa Social Studies standards. Teaching Iowa History assists Iowa educators in meeting those standards using primary sources that would not otherwise be available.

To date, over 100 Iowa museums have shared objects from their collections and their historical context. As Teaching Iowa History continues to grow and develop, project partners hope to feature museums in every Iowa county, providing educators with easy access to information and objects to illustrate their lessons.

The Teaching Iowa History program was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and supported in part by the State Historical Society of Iowa Historical Resource Development Program. The program was made possible by matching funds provided by 40 individuals and organizations, without whose support grant funding would not have been available.