If you are interested in providing services to set up a design or historic
preservation education program in a school, you might start by contacting
the curriculum director of your local school district. This individual
usually understands the structure of the district's sequential curriculum
and knows where your talents might be needed. You can also contact the
principal of your local school to find the names of teachers who might
be interested in using your services. Many states have Regional Offices
of Education that offer in-service training (workshops) to teachers
in their area. Calling the Regional Superintendent's office is a good
way to get in touch with personnel who arrange for guest speakers or
institute leaders. More teachers will participate in workshops you offer
if you arrange for teachers to receive some form of credit for participation.
Most school districts offer "Board Credit" to teachers as
an incentive to continue their training, and teachers need to participate
in staff development programs as a requirement of their continuing certification.
Contact your school district's Curriculum Director to find out how to
arrange credit for workshops.It's important to understand that most
schools have very tight budgets, and you will probably have to volunteer
your time unless you are willing to help write a grant for the school
program. It's amazing how a small amount of seed money from a grant
can blossom into a significant educational program. Teachers jump at
the chance to offer exciting educational opportunities for their students.
Some ideas for programs set up through grants are found in the Existing
Programs section of this site.
INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS:
If you are a teacher who is already expected to teach about the community,
state, or U.S. History, you'll find that it's easy to integrate Historic
Preservation Education with your existing curriculum. You will find
that most communities have an organization of people dedicated to studying
and preserving local history. You can identify preservationists by calling
your city government office or local historical museum to ask for names
of key experts. Check out the Networking with Experts section of this
site for a list of excellent suggestions for linking with local, state,
and national organizations that can help you gather information and
seek funds for your program.
Another excellent source of help can be found by calling
local architects or the American Institute of Architects. Many architects
love to work with students, and some firms allow their associates release
time to work in schools. Students love to take field trips to draw architectural
features of historic building, and architects can help you set up walking
tours of important sites. They can also show you ways to help students
document their studies in the form of drawings, models and photography.
The great thing about asking architects to work with schools is that
they can suggest activities that allow students to show their knowledge
in an artistic manner. Architeachers tell us that many of their students
who are labeled "learning disabled" begin to excel when allowed
to use their spatial intelligence.
NETWORKING WITH EXPERTS:
Setting up a historic
preservation education program can be daunting for teachers if they
have to do their own research and hunt for resources. Luckily, much
of this legwork has already been done by agencies outside the school.
Let’s outline some ways to network with experts in the community.
Local Preservation Groups:
First of all, many communities have local preservation organizations
that work hard to protect their architectural heritage. Some cities
or counties have historic preservation commissions (a citizen's council
appointed by the local government); some have local or regional not-for-profit
groups dedicated to local preservation. Other towns have Main Street
organizations, or local historical societies. Teachers interested in
setting up a historic preservation education project can get help by
calling the office of the city or village government to find the names
of local agencies (one good place to start is asking the city clerk
or city planning department).
State Historic Preservation Offices:
All states have a historic preservation office that is listed on the
web. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency office of Preservation
Services is an excellent resource for information. You can find IHPA
Certified Local Governments:
Some local governments Historic Preservation Programs have been recognized
as having special merit by being designated as a Certified Local Government
(CLG). The CLG's identify local landmarks and enact and enforce preservation
ordinances that help identify and preserve cultural landmarks. The Certified
Local Government program provides technical assistance, awards, and
grants and coordinates a network of participating communities. In Illinois,
you can find out if your community is a CLG on the IHPA website at:
or find out more information about the CLG program at either: http://www.state.il.us/hpa/PS/community.htm,
Certified Local Governments are eligible for National Park Service grants
that are administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and
which can be used for Preservation education initiatives (talk to your
Main Street Communities:
Many communities in Illinois are designated as Main Street Communities.
Main Street programs help local citizens enhance the design and appearance
of their downtown areas through historic preservation. Each town has
a design committee and a Main Street manager who are good resources
and some even have "Junior Main Street Programs" which are
geared towards young people. The Main Street Program promotes the revitalization
of downtown businesses. IHPA's Main Street Design website is http://www.state.il.us/hpa/PS/mainstreet.htm
The National Main Street website is http://www.mainst.org/.
National Park Service:
On the national level, the Heritage Preservation Services division of
the National Park Service is the federal agency responsible for preservation
and is a wonderful source of good information about historic buildings,
archeology and preservation: http://www2.cr.nps.gov/.
The National Park Service's Teaching with Historic Places program can
be found at: http://www.cr.nps.gov/NR/twhp/index.htm.
The National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Training
and Technology also has training and education grants for preservation-related
programs (check them out at http://www2.cr.nps.gov/tps/index.htm.)
Also remember that you can find links to important historic sites in
your own region by visiting the National Register of Historic Places.
In Illinois go to http://www.state.il.us/hpa/PS/historicplaces.htm.
For other states go to http://www2.cr.nps.gov/nhl/index.htm.
National, regional and local
Not-for-profit Preservation Organizations:
Many local communities have strong local preservation advocacy groups
that can be excellent sources of expertise and enthusiastic support.
Often local historical societies have good resources about the history
of your community. The Illinois Association of Museums lists many of
those groups on their website, located at: http://www.state.il.us/hpa/iam/.
Many states also have not-for profit organizations dedicated to preservation.
In Illinois the statewide group is the Landmarks Preservation Council
of Illinois (http://www.landmarks.org/index.htm).
The National Trust for Historic Preservation also has a regional Chicago,
Illinois, office whose site is: http://www.nationaltrust.org/about_the_trust/midwest.html.
Their national office is http://www.nationaltrust.org.
More preservation links can be found at IHPA Preservation Services website:
A grant from the Illinois State Board of Education to the University
of Illinois funded the original Architeacher program. Michele Olsen
and Harry S. Broudy directed the project in which twenty-five teachers
from six school districts in Champaign County were selected to participate
in a year-long teacher training course. The prerequisites for participation
were that the teachers' district curriculum required them to teach about
the history of Illinois, and that there be a team of at least two teachers
from an individual school.The original Architeachers attended five,
full-day seminars throughout the school year. Some of the sessions required
teachers to be released from school, so the project paid for their substitute
teachers. When teachers attended workshops on Saturdays, the project
paid them a stipend. Teachers who wished to receive graduate credit
from the University of Illinois paid their own tuition, and they conducted
additional research in addition to workshop attendance.
The Architeacher curriculum exposed the teachers to training in art
and aesthetics, architectural history, community planning and curriculum
development. During the sessions they were instructed by architect,
Gary Olsen and curriculum director, Michele Olsen. Outside experts also
presented lectures. Teachers were involved in design and planning projects,
and they traveled to Chicago and Oak Park to visit landmark buildings.
During the period between sessions, Architeachers received classroom
visits from architects and project staff members, and they developed
curriculum that suited the learning needs of their students.
FUNDING SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education Title
IV-C, University of Illinois
CONTACT: Michele Olsen: Architeacher1@aol.com
PEORIA COUNTY ARCHITEACHER PROJECT
Jerry Brookhart, the Regional Superintendent of schools in Peoria, Illinois
authorized his staff development associate, Jan Leonard to contract
Architeacher to provide inservice training to county teachers. Over
the next five years, Architeacher conducted three week-long summer seminars
for teachers that introduced them to historic preservation education.
The Peoria Area Arts and Sciences Council funded the purchase of curriculum
guides and resources for the teachers. Each participant in the program
received board credit for their participation, and graduate credit was
offered to teachers that wished to do additional research.
During the training sessions, members of the Peoria Chapter of the American
Institute of Architects volunteered to lecture to teachers and students,
and they provided an excellent overview of the upcoming redevelopment
of Peoria's riverfront. Teachers in turn photographed local buildings
of historic importance and used funds from a local foundation to turn
their slides and lesson plans into a curriculum shared by all Peoria
schools. The program in Peoria continues to grow as a project of the
Two Rivers Professional Development Center serving the Peoria city schools
and the county school districts in the region. A Technology component
enhances the new program as teachers learn to gather sources from the
web and design interactive curriculum for their students. Teachers receive
credit for their participation from Aurora College and their local school
FUNDING SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education,
Peoria Regional Office of Education, Area Three Learning Technology
CONTACT: Jan Leonard: jleonard@ROE
THE YANKEE RIDGE HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECT:
Two 4/5 grade teachers at Yankee Ridge Elementary School in Urbana,
Illinois wanted to integrate the development of building technology
with their U.S. History curriculum. Architeacher's Director, Michele
Olsen offered to share her collection of slides that illustrated U.S.
architectural history as promising resources for this program. Since
Michele supervised student teachers at Yankee Ridge, she helped the
teachers apply to Eastern Illinois University for a PT3 technology partnership
grant. The funded proposal allowed the teachers to purchase a slide
scanner to copy Michele's slides to a digital format and a laptop computer
for the teachers to use in making powerpoint presentations of the images
for their students.
As the school year progressed and the historic preservation education
program was underway, teacher, Nancy Blanford asked if Michele Olsen
knew of funds to take the 4/5 students on a field trip to see Chicago's
architecture. Eastern Illinois University agreed to provide transportation
funds from the PT3 technology program since student teachers would be
working with the students as they documented historic architecture with
digital still and video cameras. Then, the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency provided funds from the National Park Services to pay student
fees to visit the Sears Tower Skydeck..Knowing that students needed
to be prepared before taking such a trip, Michele contacted the Preservation
And Conservation Association of Champaign County (PACA) for funds to
conduct a week long educational seminar for the 50 students who would
be participating in the program. PACA's grant also allowed teachers
to purchase supplies and organize a computer movie presentation of the
student's digital documentation of the field trip.
FUNDING SOURCE: Eastern Illinois University PT3 grants,
Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County, Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency, National Park Service.
CONTACT: Michele Olsen: Architeacher1@aol.com
SARASOTA, FLORIDA ARCHITEACHER PROGRAM
In 2001, Architeacher traveled to Sarasota, Florida to participate in
an award winning effort to raise public awareness about the Sarasota
School of Architecture. When local arts leader, Nancy Roucher heard
that the Sarasota Fine Arts Society was planning a large symposium to
educate the public about this important movement in the history of architectural
design, she lobbied for the chance to offer teachers and students a
chance to share in this effort. With the help of Martie Lieberman of
the Sarasota Fine Arts Society, Nancy gathered funds to offer a summer
Architeacher institute for Sarasota teachers. Michele Olsen used professional
development funds from Eastern Illinois University to travel to Florida
to study the Sarasota School of Architecture, then returned to teach
the summer institute. The program continued as Nancy Roucher arranged
for the new Florida Architeachers to attend additional workshops presented
by architects who shared their expertise on the Sarasota School of Architecture.
Nancy also collaborated with the Sarasota Schools to offer participating
teachers bus transportation and curriculum resources to take their students
on a tour of Sarasota School architecture. Architeacher's Director,
Michele Olsen wrote lesson plans and designed slide illustrated curriculum
guides for the project, and Nancy Roucher designed the tour and made
the necessary arrangements for large numbers of school children to visit
these architectural landmark buildings.
FUNDING SOURCE: Eastern Illinois University, Sarasota
Fine Arts Society
CONTACT: Nancy Roucher: NancyHR@aol.com