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Waynesburg University

Waynesburg University is a private, comprehensive Christian university offering doctoral, graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. Founded in 1849, Waynesburg University is located on a contemporary campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three adult centers located in the Pittsburgh region. A member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and one of only 27 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, Waynesburg University offers local, regional and international opportunities for students to touch the lives of others through service. The University provides a liberal arts education surrounding each specific major, and students from across the globe lay foundations for lives of purpose and impact.

Waynesburg University is a regional leader in educational technology. As a partner with Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), students, faculty and staff remain on the cutting edge of technology, research and innovation.

Educators engage in a primary-source based activity during a TPS-Waynesburg professional development workshop.

Educators engage in a primary-source based activity during a TPS-Waynesburg professional development workshop.

The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program began at Waynesburg University in 2004 as part of the pilot program, An Adventure of the American Mind. Waynesburg University’s TPS program works to raise awareness of the Library’s digitized primary source collections and to define and promote effective practices for incorporating primary sources into local educational curriculum.

The TPS program at Waynesburg University serves ten rural Pennsylvania school districts within Washington, Greene and Fayette counties. Within this service area, TPS-Waynesburg University has worked with nearly 85% of K-12 teachers, along with local librarians and museum educators. TPS-Waynesburg University provides educators with a variety of professional development opportunities for enhancing their skills and knowledge about teaching with Library of Congress digitized primary sources to improve student learning in the classroom.

For example, TPS-Waynesburg University offers in-depth, topic-specific professional development workshops for teachers who have already participated in exploratory-level TPS workshops. A recent workshop entitled, “Our Story: His and Hers,” featured content expert Dr. Christine Woyshner of Temple University who has written extensively on women’s history in the K-12 curriculum. Dr. Woyshner provided some historical background and then led participants through three activities using museum education techniques (close looking, switching places and juxtapositioning) to investigate gender roles through the analysis of primary source images.

Each “Our Story: His and Hers” participant chose a topic from existing classroom curriculum and developed a lesson plan with multiple perspectives of the topic or historic event. In honor of Women’s History month, every lesson plan included gender roles as one focus. Completed lesson plans incorporated at least one museum education technique, one Library of Congress primary source analysis tool, and one primary source-based activity. As a follow-up experience, participants will review their classroom implementation experiences with TPS-Waynesbug University staff to further refine their lesson plans. The lesson plans developed by workshop participants are available online: Our Story: His and Hers.

In addition to promoting the Library of Congress through its local TPS program efforts, Waynesburg University is helping the Library pilot a regional approach to TPS program dissemination. The TPS Eastern Regional Pilot Program serves thirteen eastern states, from Maine to Virginia, plus the District of Columbia, and has successfully initiated eleven TPS collaborative projects, all focused on K-12 teacher development, to date. Recent TPS Eastern Regional Pilot Program grant recipients include Martha’s Vineyard Museum, the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services (DCMO BOCES), and the College of William and Mary.

The TPS program at Waynesburg University continues to explore new avenues for collaboration with educational entities at both the local and regional levels. Participation in professional education conferences such as the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies (PCSS) and Northeast Regional Council on the Social Studies (NERC) enables TPS-Waynesburg University to promote the digitized primary sources and teaching materials available through the Library of Congress and to engage new audiences with TPS professional development activities.