In-School Program

Engaging Educators and Students

The Urban Memory Project in-school program serves both educators and students:

  • The project partners with U.S. history and government teachers to co-plan and co-teach a research- and documentation-based civics or community unit for six weeks to one semester. It provides professional development to the partner teacher, who at the end of the course is left with a fully-formed curriculum and a variety of new teaching strategies. 
  • Students are challenged with coursework that enriches traditional curriculum with research assignments stemming from their personal experiences and observations. They learn through photography, new media, oral histories, primary and secondary source research, field trips, and guest speakers.

Program Details

Class Coursework

Urban Memory Project course topics might include the gentrification of a particular neighborhood, the history of landmark or a community’s migration. Students document the ever-changing city, adding to the collective historical archive. Projects align with the Common Core Standards in their teaching of student independence, research, critical thinking, questioning, the value of evidence and rigorous performance tasks.

Through the coursework, students will:

  • examine issues from economic, political and social lenses
  • consider their identities in relationship to where they live
  • evaluate which aspects of their communities they would like to preserve and which they would like to change
  • document communities in a variety of formats
  • publicly present their ideas, documentation and research at a school, gallery, museum or other venue
  • complete rigorous college-preparatory classwork
  • gain experience in academic seminar discussions
  • perform field-based and text-based research
  • meet professionals in a variety of fields (i.e., urban planning, architecture, art, photography)
  • read and discuss high-level non-fiction texts
  • write research and academic papers
  • gain exposure to new media presentation methods

Professional Development Overview


Urban Memory Project residents guide teachers in implementing civics or community units using the principles of backward planning, field trips, various research and documentation strategies, and student exhibition.

Teacher Workshops

Teacher workshops can be structured as all-day or hourly sessions. Workshops include an overview of community-based research and presentation strategies. Fees vary depending on the length and number of sessions.

 Professional development deliverables for educators include:

  • instruction in a variety of social studies methods, such as community, online and text research; seminar discussions; and student exhibition
  • instruction in unit-planning techniques using the tenets of backward design
  • instruction in field trip methodology
  • instruction in photographic documentation and oral history 
  • access to community resources such as guest speakers, organizations and historical archives
  • supplementary curriculum tools (templates, suggested activities, tutorials, etc.)

Session Options

20-week Intensive:

  • Option A: one teacher, one class, 140 hours
    (three hours per week teaching, three hours per week planning, 10 hours pre-planning,10 hours exhibition)
  • Option B: one to two teachers, two classes, 200 hours
    (six hours per week teaching, three hours per week planning, 10 hours pre-planning, 10 hours exhibition)

10-week Intensive:

  • Option C: one teacher, one class, 80 hours
    (three hours per week teaching, three hours per week planning, 10 hours pre-planning, 10 hours exhibition)
  • Option D: one to two teachers, two classes, 120 hours
    (six hours per week teaching, three hours per week planning, 10 hours pre-planning, 10 hours exhibition)

For information on pricing or to schedule the Urban Memory Project in your school, contact us using this form.