A project hosted by the University of California, Santa Barbara and aimed at improving history and social studies instruction in the state's secondary schools has won recognition from the American Historical Association.
At its January convention in Chicago, the AHA awarded the California History Social Science Project its Beveridge Family Teaching Prize.
The honor is given for excellence and innovation in teaching history at the elementary and secondary levels.
"It is really a very significant honor," said Margaret Rose, co-director of the CHSSP center at UCSB, one of 10 around the state.
Each summer, the center hosts 30 high school history teachers from its six-county territory at a three-week seminar focusing on some aspect of California history.
This summer the topic will be "Intolerance: Persecution and Resistance in History."
Last year it was "Visionaries and Innovators: The Nature of Change in History."
In 1998, it was "Heretics and Rebels:
Opposition Movements in History."
During the session, teachers receive help from UCSB faculty in developing a curriculum they can take back to their classrooms.
And the center, which serves Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties,
provides follow-up during the school year.
"We want our teachers to be well-informed and their classes to be exciting," Rose said.