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Connecting to the Past

 “This is an unsolicited endorsement of this graduate credit class, Connecting to the Past. I took part in it last year, and I found it stimulating with exceptional application to my own classroom. If you have never taken part in this course, it would be beneficial for both you and your students.”   An 8th grade teacher

Connecting to the Past is a professional development program designed to support and improve the teaching of American history. Participation is open to teachers in grades four to eight in Ashland, Holmes, Wayne, and Medina Counties. Connecting to the Past combines the resources of the Tri-County Educational Service Center, the Ohio Historical Society, and the Ohio State University.

Connecting to the Past is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History grant.

Each year, twenty-four teachers will participate in an Orientation seminar and three out of four offered content seminars. Participants will also take part in two historic site-based seminars, and attend a five-day Summer Institute at Ohio State University in Columbus.

The program content will revolve around three core themes:

  • Peopling the New World: Immigration and Migration of Natives and Newcomers
  • Creating the New Nation: The Revolution and Constitutional Development
  • Growing the Nation: Technology, Industrialism, and Expansion


Connecting to the Past seminars feature engaging content-focused presentations from Ohio State’s award-winning history faculty, as well as distinguished teachers and scholars from other colleges and universities.

At each seminar the Project Curator introduces participants to primary sources (such as letters, photos, maps, and documents) related to the core theme, along with ways to take these sources back to the classroom.

Lead Teachers help participants apply what they have learned to their teaching. The Lead Teachers are experienced classroom teachers from area schools. They share their experiences and techniques and facilitate peer learning.

"This class provided a great opportunity to deepen my understanding and connect with my other history-teaching peers. . . I Feel renewed and energized."   A fourth grade teacher “It was great. I learned a lot! I also didn’t realize what valuable tools primary sources were until I took the class.”
“A memorable learning experience. Who says that history can’t be fun!”   An 8th grade teacher


Participating teachers receive:

  • A Stipend of $800
  • A materials reimbursement allowance of $600 (Please visit the Materials Reimbursement page for more information)
  • OSU graduate credit (5 hours)
  • Books, primary source CDs, & other materials
  • Payment to school districts for substitutes for school-day events ( a form for your school district to use to claim this payment can be found HERE. )
  • Collaboration with colleagues


Latest News!


For your participation in Connecting to the Past, you have earned Three Graduate Non-Degree Credit Semester Hours from the Ohio State University.

For an official record of those hours, you may request a transcript from Ohio State. Those credits will be posted after August 20, 2012.

To get a transcript, you must order it on-line.

Note: Only YOU can order a transcript. Entities that cannot order your transcript include: The History Teaching Institute, Tri-County Educational Service Center, the Ohio Historical Society, and the Connecting to the Past program

Before ordering a transcript, please read the Overview and proceed through the tabs, "Payment" "Authorization" and "Pricing." To order transcript, you will click on the "Start My Order" button on the upper right of the screen accessed at the link above. Note that your credit is being assigned in the Summer Semester 2012.


Document-based whole-class discussion is a classroom activity where students engage in the interpretation and reconciliation of multiple historical documents. Rather than a heated debate, the classroom dynamic resembles a deliberative seminar, where the teacher plays an active role in facilitating student participation.

You can download a detailed description, with handouts. Another teaching resource from your friends at teachinghistory.org

The APRIL NEWSLETTER is now availible! Click the link at left to Learn about:

The Connecting to the Past Quilt

Remember making a history-themed quilt square at the Orientation? Molly has put them all together and taken a picture.

Following the links:

on our eHistory site

ORIGINS: Current Events in Historical Perspective


Our September Issue:

cover image

Interracial Marriage in "Post-Racial" America (by Jessica Viñas-Nelson)