Learning Goals for Teachers and Students

The same principles guide the learning of teachers and students affiliated with the project. Teachers first try out KCAC inquiry approaches themselves in workshops and institutes, so they can later lead inquiry-based instructional activities with students, community members, and other educators. Through KCAC, teachers and students become active citizens, helping to shape all facets of community life.

"KCAC has loaded me with ideas on how to better facilitate learning in my classroom, truly addressing the needs of the classroom teacher. KCAC participants have this in common: the desire to create something that is important to our students, our community, and our society."-Bonnie Webb, Cooper Middle School


KCAC actively promotes students’ research and writing to investigate the heritage and current culture of local, national, and international communities. KCAC classrooms allow students and teachers to explore the increasing diversity evident in American life through productive interactions with community members.

"Using KCAC strategies, students explore and discover their place, creating a sense of belonging. Students are able to form a connection with each other, ultimately creating an environment where they can appreciate their similarities and celebrate their differences."-Landon Brown, Lindley Middle School


KCAC teachers and students study historical artifacts, people's personal stories, literature, language, architecture, events, public policy-making and the physical landscape to deepen their understanding of how American communities are formed. At the same time, teachers and students become active shapers of an area's cultural life by composing their own community-building texts, often in collaboration with others (e.g., stories for print publication, plays about regional history, exhibits drawn from local research, and web-based records of community life).

"KCAC guided teaching helps build cultural, racial and social acceptance. Students are able to critically look at their own communities, learning to appreciate people from all communities."-Roz Truss, Riverside Elementary School


KCAC teachers and students, working in classrooms and with members of their local communities, develop productive literacy skills that are transportable to the workplace and to civic life. By using multiple new technologies to preserve, analyze and produce diverse records of community life, KCAC participants also enhance their critical thinking abilities and develop sophisticated reading and writing skills.

"My students took initiative in ways I had never anticipated and had never seen in my classroom before. Students need to learn to read more than textbooks--they need to learn to read everything around them. The principles and themes of this project develop character and literacy skills because students doing this type of research become true advocates for their community."-Dave Winter, Grady High School

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a project funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities