Educators as Historians

History Professor Robert Allison leads seminar for teachers.


The History Department is training area teachers to think and act like historians by using primary-source documents in their lessons.

Through "Voices Rising: Assimilation and the American Experience," an initiative funded through the U.S. Department of Education, University faculty are working with teachers in Malden, Everett, Medford and Revere.

Federally funded program

These school districts, in collaboration with the Tri-City Technology Education collaborative, have been awarded $1 million over three years to develop training programs to enhance American history teaching skills.

The "Voices Rising" project, now in its second year, is focused on teachers in grades 3, 5, 8, and high school.

Suffolk University faculty, including Dean Kenneth Greenberg and Professors Robert Allison, Pat Reeve, and Robert Bellinger, designed and delivered a weeklong institute and seminar series for 25 teachers last year. 

Enthusiastic response

These seminars also modeled skills integral to “thinking historically.” Participating teachers learned to pose, research, and present significant historical problems orally and in writing. 

“These teachers were quite enthusiastic to be here and learn as much as they could,” said Allison.  “They found the content to be interesting and appeared to be re-energized about teaching history.”

“These projects have enabled Suffolk University to forge productive and potentially long-term partnerships with area school districts,” said Reeve.  “As a result, Suffolk University students will have increased opportunities for service learning in the commonwealth’s elementary and secondary classrooms. 

Impacts 2,000 students

Over the three-year span of the Voices Rising project, 72 teachers will each receive 81 hours of intensive professional development.  The project will directly impact more than 2,000 students in their classrooms.

Partnering with Suffolk in this project are the University of Massachusetts at Lowell through the Tsongas Industrial History Center, the Boston National Historical Park, the Lowell National Historical Park, the Saugus Iron Works Historical Site and the Boston African American National Historical Site.



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