You've heard the stories and seen the recent headlines. Test scores are down. Fewer Georgia students are graduating high school on time. According to a May 2003 study by The Business Roundtable, Georgia's high school graduation rate of only 58 1/2 percent ranks its 50th in the nation.
Yet there's a growing movement to meld heritage education methods into traditional curriculum to teach children math, science, history and social studies in a way that not only makes it fun to learn, but helps students retain knowledge beyond their exams.
As of the 2004 school year, Georgia teachers are now using Georgia Performance Standards to measure student learning. These performance standards expand on previous content standards by incorporating suggested tasks, sample student work and teacher commentary on that work.
"This is an exciting time for the Talking Walls program," says Rebecca Born, heritage education coordinator for The Georgia Trust. "Our upcoming workshops will emphasize how teachers can use historic preservation elements to meet these new performance standards."
The Georgia Department of Education recently emphasized the Trust's key role as an important educational resource by approving the Trust as a partner in its Educational Initiatives Program.
This status, shared with organizations as varied as the Atlanta Symphony, the Georgia Humanities Council and the Centers for Disease Control, recognizes The Georgia Trust as an official collaborator with the DOE to provide quality instructional materials to educators across the state.
Talking Walls also received statewide certification by the Georgia Department of Education, allowing the Trust to award professional recertification credits to teachers attending program workshops and making it possible to present workshops on a regional as well as a district-by-district basis.
To learn more about the Talking Walls program or inquire about training opportunities for your school system, contact 404-885-7817.