Through the Texas History for Teachers (TX4T) project, Andrew J. Torget, Humanities Texas, the University of North Texas Libraries, and a team of master teachers will provide 4th- and 7th-grade social studies educators access to a website featuring authoritative, evidence-based historical content and best-practices pedagogical resources for teaching Texas history. The state of Texas requires public school teachers to cover Texas history in both 4th- and 7th-grade while addressing a sprawling array of skill and content standards. This project will meet a pressing need for a comprehensive set of thematically connected, historically accurate lesson plans tied to primary sources, and it will serve as a national model for integrating best-practice instruction into social studies curriculum.
The work will build on The Portal to Texas History, a free online archive of primary sources which teachers often discover when searching for classroom content, curating its massive quantity of historical documents into a more targeted suite of pedagogical resources and building a teacher-facing website to serve as a central hub for accessing this content, organized into 15 chronological “units” that correspond to historical eras identified in the Texas state standards.
The judges were impressed by Dr. Torget’s credentials: as a nationally recognized expert in Texas history with deep pedagogical experience, he struck them as an ideal lead for this important project. They also praised the institutional partners’ strong track record working with teachers, their comprehensive outreach plan, and their attention to digital sustainability in the design of the website, which will help ensure these resources will be available to teachers for many years to come.