ASC Faculty and K-12 teachers travel to Dixie

(06-09-2008)

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Loosbrock and Crowther at Longwood, near Natchez, Miss.

Adams State College History Professors, Dr. Rich Loosbrock and Dr. Ed Crowther, conducted a "Life on the Mississippi" tour with 21 K-12 teachers from New Mexico and Colorado. Between May 29 and June 6, the group visited historic sites in the Memphis area, including the Civil Rights Museum, explored historic battlefields at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and New Orleans, as well as plantation homes in the Natchez, Miss., vicinity and viewed the devastation remaining in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The tour is funded by several federal Teaching American History grants, overseen by Loosbrock and Crowther, designed to enhance the content-area expertise of public school teachers in United States History. Augmenting the travel component of the grants, teachers also experience week-long seminars in the summers and one-day workshops throughout the academic year.

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Teachers at Memphis Trolley Stop

"Books and classrooms are essential teaching tools," said Loosbrock, "but visiting actual historical sites leads to a fuller understanding of what we're studying." Tara Eddy of Lamar, Colo., said: "The trips really deepened my understanding of U. S. history, from Native Americans to Elvis, in ways I can use with my own middle school students."

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Crowther discusses the first moments of the Battle of Shiloh at Fraley Field.

In June, Loosbrock and Crowther will take teachers to Washington, D. C., and in July, to Boston and New York. "Adams States' major statutory mission is to train teachers," said Crowther. "This is just another creative way to do it."