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Stanford University

Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, Stanford University is recognized as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions. Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to "promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization." Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.

A teacher in San Francisco guides students through a lesson constructed around primary sources

A teacher in San Francisco guides students through a lesson constructed around primary sources.

Stanford’s History Education Group, or SHEG, joined the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Educational Consortium in 2009. Composed of Stanford faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars, SHEG is an award-winning research and development group that conducts research and provides outreach to educators in California and throughout the U.S. The TPS program at Stanford University connects educators with the Library's extensive collection of digitized primary sources. As the Library’s partner, TPS-Stanford University draws on over twenty years of research-based experience working at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to investigate the most effective ways to convey knowledge and love of history to students and teachers of all ages. Through professional development partnerships with Bay Area school districts, web-based resources, and teacher education initiatives, TPS-Stanford University provides support and materials for teachers to develop and assess their students' historical understanding. In addition to creating professional development programs geared toward the specific needs of school districts, Stanford’s TPS program focuses on developing pre-service teachers’ ability to incorporate primary sources into their teaching practice. Master’s degree students pursuing teacher certification in Stanford’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) receive in-depth training in using Library of Congress resources as part of their three-quarter history curriculum and instruction sequence.

The TPS program at Stanford University is developing a state-of-the-art Web site that will provide digital assessments that draw on the wealth of materials in the Library of Congress collections. This site will include interactive rubrics, sample student responses, detailed explanations of student answers, and streaming videos related to teaching inquiry skills with primary sources. During the last year, TPS-Stanford staff have been developing assessments, piloting these instruments in schools across the country, and revising them in order to ensure reliability and validity. The Web site is scheduled to launch with an initial set of assessments by the end of 2010. Updates regarding its launch will be available on Stanford’s TPS program Web site and on the Stanford History Education Group Web site.