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A 'Historical' Need

1) Lack of interest in history among youth​

2) Lack of focus on local history in K-12 education​​​


3) Little to no infusion of Harlem's rich history in classroom discussions

4) Lack of integration of history of education, schooling, and youth into many local history efforts

5) Lack of connection between historians work and K-12 history instruction​

6) Low levels of academic literacy and college-going among city youth​​

Project Overview

Details and Logistics

  • Students are in grades 9-12 from local Harlem high schools, and participation is voluntary

  • Led by graduate students at Teachers College, Columbia University

  • YHH sessions held at students' high school, Columbia University, and other community institutions

  • YHH is an initiative from the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME), with a curriculum that focuses on the history of education in partnership with the History and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy

  • Project pedagogy emphasizes the historical interests of students as a specific curriculum guide

  • YHH also currently in the process of aligning with Common Core Social Studies standards (CCSS)

The Youth Historians in Harlem (YHH) Project is a year-long after-school program designed to engage high school youth in Harlem's public schools in history. Participants of the program will learn the work of historians (i.e., the historical process) and then, as emerging "youth historians," research a topic within the history of Harlem (and/or related to education and schools, specifically) that they feel is relevant and interesting to them. Due to the rich and elaborate history of Harlem as well as with the guidance of YHH advisors, students will learn history by 'doing' it as opposed to traditional forms of history pedagogy (i.e., textbook and fact-driven). After participating in YHH, students are expected to have a deeper appreciation of history and more complex understanding of the discipline, while also consequently improving their literacy and critical thinking skills.

For more specific information about the Youth Historians model or YHH curriculum, please contact Barry Goldenberg.

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