Two H.C.H.S. Teachers Attend Library of Congress Programs

The Library of Congress selected Michael Mainor and Brian White, social studies teachers at Hazelwood Central High School, to participate in two of its seven teacher institutes in Washington, D.C. Mainor attended a May session while White followed in June.

“The Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute was a week-long institute in which 25 teachers were selected from all over the United States to participate,” said White. “The purpose was to provide educators the tools necessary to incorporate primary source documents into existing curriculum.”

Primary sources are original documents and objects.

“Primary sources provide students a window into the past and provide documents by which artistic, social, scientific and political thought can be studied,” said White. “By using primary sources, teachers can increase student engagement, develop critical thinking skills and allow students to construct knowledge as they base their conclusions on evidence.”

During the five-day program, educators worked with library education specialists and subject-matter experts to use primary sources effectively in the classroom, while combing through digitized historical artifacts and documents, which are available on the library’s website –

“While in Washington, D.C., besides collaborative learning with other educators from throughout the United States, I had the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Library of Congress’ Map Room, which is longer than an aircraft carrier and has a collection of maps and globes that goes back for centuries,” said White. “I was also given an after-hours tour of the grand reading room in the main building, which is home to the Jefferson Collection of works that started the library, and I received a behind-the-scenes tour of the card catalog and storage of books.

“Also, while in Washington I had the opportunity to meet with Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and take a private guided tour of the Capitol building, including the original homes of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and U.S. Supreme Court.”

White and Mainor said the educators who attended also developed primary-source based teaching strategies. All attendees received a large amount of materials to use in their classrooms and to share with colleagues for professional development.

The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the world’s pre-eminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people.


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