Ivey Center Pioneers New Approach to Teaching History

A $316,025 grant from the Caroline Lawson Ivey Foundation has made it possible for Columbus State to establish the Ivey Center for the Cultural Approach to History.

The center is serving as a resource for new and prospective teachers interested in the cultural approach to history, which focuses on applying anthropological methods.

"Instead of thinking about history as a set of years with wars, students are taught what was happening in society at the time, the economics, aesthetics and religious aspects of life," said Barbara Buckner, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, which encompasses the center. "It makes history more real."

Directed by Victor Salazar, the online center employs the latest in curriculum development by way of video and audio podcasts, easy-to-use digital presentations and other interactive resources. They are all geared to state and national performance standards and make it seamless to integrate technology into the social studies classroom. Teachers can download these free resources from the website http://culturalapproach.org/. The Ivey center will not only introduce teachers to the cultural approach to history, but will also help sustain teachers in the use of these methods. The center also provides support for teachers in the form of networking, seminars and outreach.

Oliver Turner Ivey, professor emeritus at Auburn University, developed the cultural approach to history in response to concerns expressed by educators and administration in Montgomery, Ala., schools. Through the collaborative efforts of Ivey, Andrew Weaver of Auburn University and 26 teachers, the seventh grade social studies curriculum in Montgomery schools was overhauled and the cultural approach to history was created and adopted.

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