Higher Education | History | Teacher Education and Professional Development


In April 2011, Congress slashed funding for a majority of programs tied to education. Several programs related to professional development for teachers did not survive. While cut severely—from $119 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to $46 million (a loss of $73 million or 61% of its funding)—Teaching American History (TAH) grants lived, albeit by their fingertips, another day. Yet, given the economic challenges the United States faces and what appear to be prevailing attitudes in regard to social services and teacher development, it has become clear that history educators cannot rely on federal funding to support efforts to improve the teaching of history.

Nevertheless, meaningful collaboration among K-12 teachers and academic and public historians continues to be vital. This essay describes in detail a current collaborative relationship between a history department and high school in western Michigan. Focusing specifically on four levels of interlocking benefits of collaboration—benefits for high school teachers, for teaching candidates, for high school students, and for historians—the essay documents the strengths of this collaborative effort and notes areas where purposeful concentration and improvement might benefit all parties. Significantly, the relationship examined here, between the history department at Western Michigan University (WMU) and Portage Central High School (PCHS), developed without a promise or expectation of financial incentives. It demonstrates that collaboration, while challenging, can survive in the twenty-first century without funding from a TAH grant.

Original Citation

Andrews, G., Warren, W. J., & Brown, S. D. (2013). “Crossing the Educational Rubicon without the TAH: Collaboration among University and Secondary-Level History Educators. The History Teacher, 46(2), 253-266.