I recently read the governor wants to close the Washington History Museum.
If the public expects teachers to provide high quality Pacific Northwest history instruction to our students, then closing the only easily accessible and professional resource available to them will hardly enhance teacher instruction and student learning.
The Washington History Museum offers classes for teachers about how to teach Northwest history, professional museum educators to lead student tours of the museum and to provide hands-on instruction for students in the history lab.
Teaching students to use primary resources – such as artifacts, historical maps and diaries – in the research process is one of the principal requirements of a well-designed social studies research unit.
The museum is of critical importance in meeting that requirement.
Museum staff also create and maintain a website that reaches all teachers and students in our state. For a minimal fee, the museum sends suitcase units with artifacts, lessons, and more to any teacher who requests assistance with history instruction.
If the Washington History Museum is closed, just where are teachers, students and their families supposed to go to obtain rich, engaging resources about Pacific Northwest history, essential for teaching all of our students?