Teaching Iowa History

Iowa Museum Association (IMA) Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
IMA will be reaching out to Iowa museums to participate


The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a "Creating Humanities Communities" grant to the Iowa Museum Association (IMA), a statewide organization serving all Iowa museums.   

The grant was awarded for the IMA's project entitled "Teaching Iowa History." The project will support the recommendations made by the Iowa History Advisory Council in "Recommendations to Create a Systemic Approach to Improving the Teaching and Learning of Iowa History in Iowa’s K12 Schools" (August 2016).

Teaching Iowa History will work with Iowa's museums to collect Iowa history stories and images of artifacts and primary resources.  The project will work with the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa History Center at Simpson College, and Graceland University to transform those resources into text sets and lesson plans to support teaching to the new Iowa Social Studies Standards.

Cyndi Sweet, Executive Director of the Iowa Museum Association, said "We want Iowa teachers to have access to Iowa history content and primary resources and to know what resources are available at their local museum. We will reach out to Iowa museums, and to Iowa historians, local historians, and subject matter experts statewide to work with us on this project."

Teaching Iowa History brings into partnership the members of the Iowa Museum Association, and historians and educators at the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa History Center at Simpson College to collect and vet historical content, and create teaching resources to assist teachers K-12 in meeting the new standards.  The project includes the development of a professional development template for teacher education.

Sweet said, "The University of Northern Iowa is Iowa's leading teacher education university.  They will bring institutional resources and expertise in content development, teacher preparation, and professional development that will be invaluable to the success of this project."

In addition to the University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa History Center at Simpson College, grant partners and supporters include Graceland University, the Geographic Alliance of Iowa, Iowa Public Television, The World Food Prize, Heartland Area Education Agency, the Iowa Department of Education, and a wide array of stakeholders.

Cynthia Sweet, Executive Director of the Iowa Museum Association, said, “Teaching Iowa History” will make a difference for museums, teachers, and students, providing accessible history and professional development that connects stakeholders and supports Iowa Department of Education goals.  Creating connections between public school and museum educators will enhance lessons provided in both classrooms and active learning environments and build community across Iowa history related organizations for collaboration, partnership, and student benefits.”

For more information about “Teaching Iowa History”, visit www.iowamuseums.org or contact the Iowa Museum Association at email: Director@iowamuseums.org.  

The Iowa Museum Association's “Teaching Iowa History" project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by the project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.