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What is SALEM in History?

SALEM in History: The Science and Art of Learning from Evidence and Materials in History is a content-based, professional development program open to all elementary, middle and high school teachers of American history in the Salem Public School district. As a joint effort of the Salem Public Schools, Salem State College, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service, SALEM in History aims to increase the depth, breadth and quality of teachers' knowledge and understanding of United States history, and provide teachers with the training, materials and support necessary to apply this new knowledge and understanding in their classrooms. All project activities make central use of the rich primary source material available in partner collections and local archives, and are tied to a series of core themes that encourage teachers to see an historical narrative and sequential pattern in the United States' past. SALEM in History's unique structure and focus on primary sources makes central the connection between teachers' historical literacy (both content knowledge and source analysis skills) and that of their students. SALEM in History's activities wed the skills of doing history to the skills of teaching history, thereby providing a solid foundation for teachers to create rigorous, innovative, dynamic primary source-based classroom lessons based on solid scholarship which help improve their students' historical critical thinking skills. SALEM in History is funded by a three-year Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education.