Discussion Forum

TOPIC: NM History 9th Grade Curriculum

Subject: NM History 9th Grade Curriculum
Posted: February 5, 2008 3:51 PM MST
Comments: Here's to open-air history curriculum development! The Office of the State History (OSH) is developing a NM History curriculum for 9th graders across the state. The OSH Curriculum Development team would like to use this online space as a forum for identifying goals, generating ideas, and hearing input from the public. Please join in on the conversation!
Posted By: Sophie

Subject: Goals of Curriculum
Posted: February 6, 2008 8:30 AM MST
Comments: Here are an idea of some goals of the curriculum. This is just a brain storm and I would like to hear what people think. 1) To engage New Mexico Teens in a discussion of the past and how it has shaped the present, including their own identity. 2) To demonstrate how history can be incorporated to the here and now. 3)To get teens to claim ownership of their own history and by extension their own identity. It is possible that these are so similar they can be incorporated as one goal. Input anyone?
Posted By: Jennifer

Subject: 3D Goals
Posted: February 6, 2008 5:31 PM MST
Comments: Now that we have opened the curriculum development discussion to anyone who ventures onto the Discussion portion of the Digital Archives Project, we have raised at least two core questions about history-making: who crafts the knowledge, and how is that knowledge presented? These questions screamed at me as I observed my hesitation to divulge the curriculum development team's most recent ideas and plans. (The team has a private conversation in the works, and also this public one.) I wondered to what extent are we willing to concede our ownership of the curriculum development; how invested are our egos in making what we think is a brilliant curriculum? The goals articulated by Jennifer could lend to a meaningful and vibrant history curriculum. As I believe the OSH website demonstrates, CREATIVITY and INCLUSIVENESS are vital to achieving goals rooted in questioning, reflecting, and owning history. In my mind, a curriculum that engages students, relates meaningfully to the present, and fosters identity awareness and pride (goals identified by Jen), gives learners the opportunity to freely investigate and handle their subject matter. I am envisioning an interactive curriculum whereby students learn to thread material out of the computer, into the classroom, around the block, through the front door, out of the family closet, and into the computer. I don't mean that this curriculum would intend to expose secrets. Rather, it would provide a way for students to acknowledge and explore some taboo and obscure histories, such as the history of gangs and the history of NM Spanglish. When youth have creative tools for reflecting on and relating to the past, they discover wonder in themselves and their communities. To inspire ideas for this concept, I am researching websites that take an interactive and youth-friendly approach to documenting culture.
Posted By: Sophie

Subject: Resources we can use to develop the curriculum
Posted: February 6, 2008 5:35 PM MST
Comments: In addition to innovative websites and online networks, the curriculum team may want to turn to the following sources to inform the making of the curriculum: 1) Middle and High School Public School Students from each Congressional District To understand the interests and concerns of our audience, we must listen to students. If crafted in ways that encourage students to voice themselves freely, focus groups, interviews, and surveys can reveal what students think about their history education. Note: New Mexico Voices for Children Youth Link and New Mexico Forum for Youth in Community Youth Alliance may be helpful in implementing this research. 2) 9th Grade History Teachers from each Congressional District To enhance history education, it is crucial we examine how teachers teach NM history. Let\'s identify 9th grade history teachers and conduct conversations about how they teach history and how they would like to improve NM curriculum. Note: New Mexico Humanities Council National History Day Program and New Mexico National Education Association (NEA) may be helpful in implementing this research. 3) 9th Grade History Curriculum Resources What books, lesson plans, and other materials are teachers using to teach NM history? How do these resources compare with the OSH teaching philosophy? See: Classic New Mexico History by Roberts, a popular textbook 4) NM Native American History Curriculum Gloria Begay, Director of the Indigenous Institute for the Arts, and a team of educators authored a curriculum that was passed by the NM Legislature. What does it consist of, and how might we be able to integrate it into the OSH NM history curriculum (if it\'s for 9th graders)?
Posted By: Sophie

Subject: Surveys for students
Posted: February 6, 2008 5:36 PM MST
Comments: Here are some suggestions for surveys that seek to reveal what students want from a 9th grade NM history curriculum: Survey questions: Who are New Mexicans? What makes you New Mexican? What's most interesting to you about the history of NM? What do you want to know about New Mexican history? Package the survey in creative ways: Ex. 1) Distribute surveys at middle and high school all-school rallies. Surveys double as raffle tickets, making students eligible for winning a prize (like dinner for two at a local restaurant). Blast a clip from the Bob Marley song "Buffalo Soldier" ("If you know you're history, then you know where you are coming from") on the stadium' loudspeakers. Follow the music with an upbeat announcement about the surveys' purpose and instructions. Offer community service hours to students in charge of survey distribution, collection, and raffling. Ex. 2) Distribute surveys in the form of e-greetings. When the email is opened, a video clip begins. The clip shows teenagers perform a skit (for ex. teens mimicking their grandparents saying things like, "when I was your age, we had to walk ten miles to go to school," etc.) and then explain the surveys' purpose and instructions. Kinks in this suggestion include getting masses of students' email addresses, and also getting them to open the OSH survey e-greeting.
Posted By: Sophie

Subject: Lesson plans
Posted: February 6, 2008 11:38 PM MST
Comments: I think this is a good beginning and can't wait to see what students, teachers and community members add. I had Atole for breakfast, I didn't have that until I moved to New Mexico 32 years ago. And, it was delicious!
Posted By: Rosa

Subject: lessons
Posted: February 10, 2008 1:15 PM MST
Comments: It is very obvious that it is imperative to reach out and get participants to help us with this discussion. That should be our goal at this point.
Posted By: Rosa

Subject: We need teens
Posted: February 11, 2008 11:15 AM MST
Comments: I agree that reaching our should be a goal and a priority at this point. We can come up with great ideas and discuss it till we are blue, but unless we get some living breathing teens into the discussion we are going to miss the mark. I think we are so excited and have such great ideas that we may be overthinking things. Let's get a few teenagers to become part of the team, at least on some level. I think they can point us in a direction that will be most beneficial to our mission. In talking with a New Mexico teen this weekend I gained some insights in just the five minutes we expored the website that were really helpful. Mainly, I learned that not much has changed since I was a New Mexico High School student.
Posted By: Jen

Subject: Looking at the website with a teen
Posted: February 11, 2008 11:29 AM MST
Comments: This weekend I spoke with one teenager about what it is we are trying to accomplish. I introduced her to the website and asked her what she thought about everything. This was all done in a very laid back way, where she could speak honesltly. This is what we talked about: Though the presentation of history on the website was to her definately more interesting than a text book, she was still not engaged. Keep in mind this is a teen that, like many others, spends most of her free time on My Space and You Tube. I asked her what is the problem with most curriculum, and she said it is boring to just read. She says they like movies and fieldtrips. She also said that many subjects already have online curriculum, and that it is good because you can also go at your own pace. She also said that she would be willing to participate in a discussion with the group about these issues. I found this discussion humbling, but really important. To have more discussions like this would be quite beneficial to the group.
Posted By: Jen

Subject: Creating Consensus
Posted: February 11, 2008 4:45 PM MST
Comments: Hello team and beyond. This is still Sophie, I’ve just added a J. Please allow me to share my thoughts on the teen involvement issue. Absolutely we need teens! It would be great to get teens to join this blog, but I think that we have to encourage them is the problem itself. The presentation of this conversation is not teen-friendly. I see this blog as a straightforward record for our ideas and progress. Take a look at mySpace, FaceBook, YouTube or any youthful website, and you’ll encounter throbbing pictures, video clips, sound clips, animation, advertisements, and clippy text all tinging with tones of flirtation and cool. That packed kaleidoscopic energy is what has made those websites transform the internet and our culture. Unless we capture the splashy mySpace dynamic, I suspect teens will not voluntarily visit this blog. In order to attract youth to the whole OSH website (potential curriculum included), I suspect we need to invite a team of teens to develop their components of the site. I would like to propose to you and to the OSH that we create a project whereby teens and college students get paid and school credit for developing their online curriculum into a near-3D multimedia experience. Just like Jen’s teen friend said: teens like movies and field trips (actually, who doesn’t?)! My above comments on resources and surveys allude to the need for a comprehensive outreach campaign aimed at teenagers and educators. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and see how we can start collecting data. When we meet next, let’s agree on some ground rules for working together as a team. For instance, we could agree on a process for coming to consensus. Each of our ideas are equally important, making it integral for us to agree on a way to insure consensual action-oriented decision-making. I will bring a few guides to our next meeting on how to act effectively as a team.
Posted By: SophieJ

Subject: NM History Education
Posted: February 13, 2008 11:32 AM MST
Comments: As President of the Chimayó Cultural Preservation Association, I am dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Nuevo México History through our schools. For many years, I have been saddened by the culture loss that our youth has faced and even more so by the lack on importance on New Mexico History by the education system. I am excited by the initiative taken in developing this forum and I hope to see it prosper.
Posted By: Miguél A. Torrez

Subject: Welcome!
Posted: February 13, 2008 12:55 PM MST
Comments: Thank you, Mr.Torrez, and welcome to our discussion!
Posted By: SophieJ

Subject: Hello Mr. Torrez
Posted: February 15, 2008 2:01 PM MST
Comments: It is great to have you here. I am sure that you can help us and I have a couple of questions for you. Do you have any teacher friends/acquaintances from Chimayo (or in Northern New Mexico) that you could ask to take a look at our site and then ask them what we could do to help them deliver New Mexico History to their students? We are thinking about focusing on 9th grade right now, as it is a time when students are required to learn about New Mexico History. We have also talked about meeting with teachers in Northern New Mexico and talking about ways that we can help them,is that something that you would be interested in? ...A side line...I love Chimayo and at the end of last summer helped Camilla Trujillo build the horno by the Cultural Center there next to Ortega's! Have you seen it? I have heard that it works very well. Thank you again for joining us!
Posted By: Rosa

Subject: Teacher Friends/Acquaintances
Posted: February 16, 2008 10:52 AM MST
Comments: Hello Rosa, yes I do have contacts, both at Española Valley High and Pojoaque. My wife works at the Pojoaque Valley High School and I will be be visiting someone regarding this issue soon. As soon as I get their feedback I will proceed to assist you in contacting them. The horno you mention is build outside of the Ortega house which houses the museum that our association maintains. The horno works very well and The Los Maestros del Norte youth group has used it for baking bread.
Posted By: Miguél

Subject: Anything new on this?
Posted: September 13, 2009 8:17 PM MDT
Comments: I have returned to New Mexico after a 17 year absence. Teaching New Mexico history to 9-11th graders can be a challange, given that the same book is used. I bring in as much of my own research as possible, but I also teach at another school. My time to rejuvenate has been descreased dramatically. We need an exciting curriculum that both challanges the students and teaches them that they still have to be active learners instead of passive learners.
Posted By: Byron

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