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TPS Consortium Member Showcase:
Collaborative for Educational Services

Founded in 1974, the Massachusetts-based nonprofit Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) fosters educational excellence, opportunity, and growth for all learners. CES directs programs in Special Education and for youth in juvenile justice and mental health facilities statewide. Professional development programs include consultation with and training for partner school districts, preparation of teachers in English Language Education, and a hybrid online teacher and administrator licensure program. CES launched the Emerging America program in 2006, and has engaged hundreds of teachers in graduate level professional development, focused on inquiry-based use of primary sources. This work, in partnership with UMass Amherst, has received support from the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History program since 2005. Emerging America has pioneered classroom application of literacy in History and the Social Studies through professional development emphasizing inquiry, the use of primary sources, and performance assessment. Together these elements support effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Enlisting local museums and archives, Emerging America’s Windows on History program has guided nearly 40 teacher-student teams to investigate and publish vibrant local history websites. Emerging America also emphasizes other innovative uses of technology, including online exhibits, online courses for teachers, and a growing social network. Since 2007, CES has worked closely with the Museum of Disability History.

Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre from the Library of Congress serves as the subject for Western Massachusetts high school teachers as they practice inquiry-based study of primary sources

Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre from the Library of Congress serves as the subject for Western Massachusetts high school teachers as they practice inquiry-based study of primary sources.

In 2010, CES joined the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium, in partnership with UMass Amherst Department of History, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Boston Public Schools. All professional development in the TPS program at CES emphasize practical, classroom application of Library of Congress resources, inquiry-based use of primary sources, meaningful implementation of Common Core literacy standards, and support for diverse and struggling learners.

The program offers three levels of professional development statewide:

  • Level I Workshops partner with host school districts or multi-district collaboratives.
    • A popular format, “Self-Evident Truths,” features documents, images, and maps from the American Revolution and Constitutional periods. Teachers in grades 5-8 learn to help students read the complex texts of the era and to write persuasive essays–key Common Core standards. Other topics include: Immigration, African American Struggle for Equality, and multimedia resources from the Library of Congress. A workshop on Disability History in Primary Sources begins in February 2013.
    • Creating Quality Learning Environments for Diverse Learners, one-credit graduate course, helps mainstream teachers use primary sources to develop lessons for English Language Learners and other students with limited academic language.
  • Level II Lesson Study Workshops engage teachers in developing lessons as teams, teaching the lesson, and bringing observations and student work to analyze how to improve instruction.
  • Level III Training of Trainers includes a one-day orientation for veteran teachers, a one-month online interactive course, and co-leading a workshop with Emerging America staff. More than 20 teachers have prepared to lead workshops to date.

In the words of one middle school teacher who participated in a Level II Lesson Study Workshop:

"I love seeing the variety of ways other teachers help students to analyze primary sources: "leaving tracks" of thinking, visibly charting comparison of primary and secondary source versions of an event."

Online professional development resources are available at