Wayne State University College of Education and Walter P. Reuther Library host free two-day conference to help K-12 teachers and librarians use archives to enhance student learning

The Wayne State University College of Education and the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs invite K-12 educators and librarians to join them for “Archives in the Classroom and Community,” a two-day summer institute aimed at helping participants learn how to use local, community-based archives to enhance K-12 student learning. The two-day conference will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily from Aug. 8-9.

Photo of Min Yu
Min Yu, Ph.D.

“Archives are a treasure trove of information that can be used to teach students about the past, present and future,” said Min Yu, Ph.D., associate professor of comparative and international education and social studies education and principal investigator. “By using archives, K-12 teachers and librarians can help students develop critical thinking skills, learn about different cultures and explore different perspectives. In today’s world, it is essential for students to think critically about information and to understand how to interact with individuals from a variety of backgrounds. By working with archives, K-12 teachers and librarians can help students become more engaged learners and citizens.”

Educators and social studies experts from around the country will discuss the benefits and challenges of creating place-based, culturally relevant lessons for K-12 students. Sessions will feature archive-based curriculum units and plans created by project participants and celebrate the advantages of a collaborative professional learning community composed of teachers and archivists.

“By collaborating, archivists, teachers and librarians can use primary sources to develop lessons that are relevant to students’ lives, help them understand their place in the world, and learn to appreciate the history and diversity of their communities,” said Dan Golodner, archivist for the American Federation of Teachers. “By helping students make connections between the past and present, teachers and librarians can expand students’ knowledge of their culture and community and create more meaningful learning experiences for students.”

Speakers will include Keith Barton, Ed.D., professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Indiana-Bloomington; Li-Ching Ho, Ph.D., professor of social studies education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and J.B. Mayo, Ph.D., associate professor of social studies education at the University of Minnesota. Presenters will cover a variety of topics, including exploring archival sources, understanding archives in international contexts and using archives to tell LGBTQ stories.

individual photos of Keith Barton, J.B. Mayo, and Li-Ching Ho

The institute will also include a discussion with K-12 teachers about the archives lesson planning process and a guided tour of the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, home of the largest labor archives in the United States.

K-12 educators certified in Michigan can earn up to eight hours of SCECHs by participating in the institute. Individuals interested in receiving professional development credit should bring checks of $5 made payable to Wayne State University on the first day.

The conference is part of “Bridging the Gap: Archives in the Classroom and Community,” a two-year project funded by the National Archives and Records Administration’s National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The initiative’s goal is to improve access to primary sources in the classroom for teachers and students. Additional project members include Christopher Crowley, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education; Meghan Courtney, archivist for academic programs at the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library; and Sean McBrady, Ed.D., social studies consultant for the Macomb Intermediate School District.

Admission and parking are free, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Participants will also receive a free book. Individuals interested in attending the conference should register at bit.ly/acc-institute-2023. Details about the location and parking will be shared with registered participants.

For more information, contact Min Yu at minyu@wayne.edu.


About the College of Education
Anchored by its commitment to social justice, equity and inclusive excellence, the College of Education offers degree programs in more than 25 areas, including elementary education, counseling, educational leadership and policy studies, educational psychology, educational research and evaluation, exercise and sport science, learning design and technology, special education and sports administration. Visit education.wayne.edu to learn more.

About the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs
The Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, a part of the Wayne State University Library System, is the largest labor archives in North America and is home to the collections of numerous unions and labor-related organizations. Its collection strengths extend to the political and community life of urban and metropolitan Detroit, the civil rights movement in Michigan and nationally, and women's struggles in the workplace. The Reuther Library is also the home of the Wayne State University Archives. To learn more, visit reuther.wayne.edu.

About Wayne State University 
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs to nearly 24,000 students. For more information, visit wayne.edu.

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