Educators Explore Strategies for Teaching 9/11 at Professional Development Conference

An audience of dozens of teachers sit and listen to a keynote presentation at the Museum’s auditorium.
Teachers listen to a keynote presentation. Photo by Jin Lee, 9/11 Memorial.

Eighty teachers and administrators learned from experts and explored critical educational issues at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Election Day Professional Development Conference, "Complicating the Narrative: Teaching 9/11 in a Changing World" in early November.

The conference began with a keynote address from Brian Dodwell, director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, that traced the roots and rise of various extremist groups to the present day. For many teachers, Dodwell’s presentation provided a clear yet comprehensive narrative about the origins of al-Qaeda.

In the afternoon, educators had the opportunity to select from a full slate of break-out sessions targeting specific 9/11-related content areas. Each session gave teachers an opportunity to hone their skills in working with complex and emotionally difficult material.

Sessions focused on the enduring health effects and repercussions of the attacks, debunking conspiracy theories, best practices for conducting oral histories and addressing the rise of Islamophobia after 9/11.

In addition to strategies, educators left with access to many online resources, including lesson plans, online interactives and the Anniversary in the Schools webinar.

The Museum will offer another free professional-development workshop for educators on Jan. 28, 2019. In addition to on-site programs, education staff members also travel around the country to reach teachers across the United States. Staff will be presenting several sessions at The National Council for the Social Studies annual conference from November 30 to December 2 in Chicago. 9/11 Memorial & Museum board member Keating Crown is a featured keynote speaker at the conference.

By Molly DePippo, Education Specialist, 9/11 Memorial & Museum

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