Who Are We?

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) owns and operates Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia. TJF is serving as the lead organization in this project in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and researchers from Teachers College, Columbia University and Tufts University.

Year 1 of the study will be based on the Monticello Teachers’ Institute. Year 2 will include the teacher professional development program at Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea. Year 3 will include additional sites. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the opportunity to participate.

Research Team

Christine Baron is the Principal Investigator for Assessing Teacher Learning at Historic Sites. Currently, an Assistant Professor Social Studies and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Baron is a former high school history teacher and museum educator. Prior to her academic post, she directed the development of educational and interpretation programs at the Old North Church, Boston. Dr. Baron’s research focuses on using museums and historic sites as laboratories for history teacher education. Her related interests include examining historical thinking related to non-traditional texts and teaching and learning in informal settings. She has been recognized by the National Council on Public History American Association of State and Local History, and the National Council on the Social Studies for her research related to using historic sites to foster historical thinking. Contact via email: Christine.baron@tc.columbia.edu

Sherri Sklarwitz is a Research Consultant for Assessing Teacher Learning at Historic Sites, supporting the design of the research tool and work on the data analysis. Dr. Sklarwitz is currently the Associate Director of Student Programs for the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Dr. Sklarwitz’s role at Tufts focuses on the research and evaluation of programs that create transformative experiences for students through community partnerships and service learning. Her previous work at Boston University used Q methodology to explore how the attitudes of high school students can shift after participating in a global citizenship course. As a former middle school civics teacher she is very interested in using research to enhance practice. She received the National Council on the Social Studies Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award for this research on global citizenship, and is interested in continuing to use Q methodology for the study of attitudes in social studies education. She earned her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and a B.S. in Labor Relations from Cornell University. Contact via email: Sherri.Sklarwitz@tufts.edu

Dr. Hyeoung Bang, Assistant Professor, School of Educational Foundations, Leadership & Policy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

Krystal Rose, Manager of Digital Education Initiatives, Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT

Thomas Jefferson Foundation Staff

Gary Sandling, Project Leader, Vice-President of Visitor Programs & Services

Linnea Grim, Project Manager, Director of Education & Visitor Programs

Melanie Bowyer, Consulting Staff, Manger of Digital Learning

Jacqueline Langholtz, Consulting Staff, Manager of School & Group Programs

Chad Wollerton, Consulting Staff, Director of Digital Media and Strategy

Lora Cooper, Project Assistant and Instructor

The Monticello Teacher Institute

The evaluation will first be tested at the 2016 Monticello Teacher Institute (MTI), an immersive professional development opportunity designed to provide secondary social studies teachers the opportunity to research and study at Monticello and the Jefferson Library in Charlottesville, Virginia. With the dual goal of enhancing their classroom teaching and contributing to the collection of digital resources available online at Monticello’s Digital Classroom and Sea of Liberty websites, teachers will collaborate on projects such as lesson plans, curricular units, or digital projects rooted in the history of the founding principles and their relevance today.

Their onsite experience will be enriched and supported by group excursions, presentations by leading Jefferson scholars, and other focused workshop sessions. Following the weeklong residence, participating teachers will be expected to bring conversations about Jefferson’s ideas and Monticello into their classrooms, schools, and communities. Learn more about the program from previous Monticello Teacher Institute participants.

Applicants are chosen by TJF staff according to evidence of their success as a teacher; demonstration that the fellowship will relate to the teaching skills and needs of the applicant; and the commitment and qualifications of the applicant to undertake a concentrated study relating to the life and times of Thomas Jefferson, including basic research skills, writing proficiency, and competency using digital education tools and technology. Fellowships will be awarded to qualified teachers who are employed full-time in the classroom. The MTI/Barringer Fellowship includes accommodations during the Fellowship; a stipend of $500; travel costs up to $750; and a per diem for meals.  Participants are asked to submit a final report detailing their Fellowship experience, as well completed educational materials suitable for publication on Monticello’s Digital Classroom or Sea of Liberty websites. The 2016 MTI/Barringer Fellowship will be offered in two sessions; July 9-15 and again from July 22-29.