Professional Development in the History Department

                Members of the MHS History Department are life-long learners who engage in a wide variety of professional growth opportunities throughout the calendar year.  Summer is a busy time for many members of the department.  Our teachers are regular participants in National Endowment for the Humanities Landmark and other summer programs.  Between 2006-2009 nearly the entire department completed a three-year study of the U.S. Constitution under the auspices of the James Madison Seminar program at Princeton University.  These two-week intensive seminars were coupled with fall and spring presentations by distinguished authors and historians. 
              During the school year our teachers are busy adding to their credentials and content area expertise.  Many take courses at area universities or state approved professional development providers such as the RTC.  Two teachers are enrolled in degree/certification programs at Drew University--Ms. Fellows is currently working toward her certificate in historic preservation and Mr. De Biasse is pursuing his Doctor of Arts and Letters degree at the Casperson School of Graduate Studies.  The History Department staff have also been eager participants in the district sponsored Drew Scholars program, in which teachers are released from their teaching duties for several days of intensive and thought-provoking coursework .             
              MHS History teachers also hone their teaching craft by participating in district-wide in-service programs, NJEA/MEA professional development workshops and school/department programs that focus on pedagogical skills.  The teaching staff also demonstrates a strong commitment to the profession by training and/or mentoring less-experienced teachers and those just entering the profession.  Mr. Grundfest, for example, has a long association with the Pathways Teacher Certification Program and has prepared numerous career-changers for a rewarding life in education.  
              For the past several years the History Department has collaborated in the development of SMART Goals linked to an assessment project that grew out of our affiliation with the New Jersey High School Reform Consortium (NJHSRC).  The focus of our work will be on helping our students to better read, interpret, draw inferences from and detect bias in primary source materials.  Throughout the year teachers will be working in collaborative teams to develop a series of assessments that feature an array of primary source materials.  Our focus will be on providing students with specific feedback designed to enhance the proficient use of these materials in scholarly pursuits.  Consistent with this important endeavor, Madison High School has recently joined the "Affiliate Schools Program" with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLIAH).  Located in New York City, the GLIAH is one of the nation's premier scholarly organizations dedicated to collecting and cataloging essential documents for research and educational purposes. For more information about the GLIAH Affiiliate Schools Program please click here.
                The staff of the History Department staff are an outstanding group of dynamic, intellectually gifted and dedicated professionals offering a superlative instructional program in the social sciences.