Kevan Keane, teacher at Martinsville Middle School, is one of only 120 teachers selected for a National History Day (NHD) spring professional development program. This course focuses on using online Library of Congress resources to develop and support historical arguments and is a feature of NHD’s membership in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium.
The teachers chosen for this honor represent NHD’s 58 affiliates across the country and around the world, and the National History Day program in Virginia selected Keane. NHD affiliates include all 50 states and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and international school programs in China, South Asia, and South Korea.
“The skills and strategies Keane is developing through this series will benefit his students over the course of their academic and professional careers,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “As a Library of Congress TPS Consortium member, NHD is incredibly fortunate to be able to offer this opportunity for teachers, especially now as teachers and students continue to address challenges of non-traditional learning settings required by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We meet once per month, participate in discussion boards, practice different methods of primary source analysis, and during the webinars, we can see how the students are doing it,” said Keane. “It is my first time participating as I had never heard of the program before this year. Some of the biggest takeaways I can implement are contextualizing primary sources, how geography, location, and context in various sources of communication can show the success or failure of a message (i.e., Prohibition). I worked with fellow teachers through this experience. With this course and the “Teaching History Online” course that preceded it has been eye-opening in that it has allowed me to come together with other educators to better our craft together.”
For several months, Keane works with his peers around the country and National History Day staff to build knowledge for teaching with online Library of Congress resources. Upon completion of the series, he will have demonstrated the ability to share with his students’ key strategies for researching, supporting, and presenting historical arguments bolstered by these primary sources.
“Mr. Keane is a new teacher to our division this school year and has done excellent work with our students,” said Martinsville Middle School Principal Cynthia Tarpley. “We are elated that Mr. Keane was chosen to participate in a national webinar series engaging students from around the world. Our staff is very proud of Mr. Keane and his accomplishments.”
“I am very proud of Mr. Keane’s historical work,” said MCPS Superintendent Dr. Zeb Talley. “Kevan is a very dedicated professional with great insight. He will make great contributions to historical scholarship.”