Avondale Teacher Studies in “The Most Southern Place on Earth”

Selection as National Endowment scholar provides opportunity for rich learning experience to be shared in the classroom

Avondale teacher Rick Kreinbring instructs students in his Advanced Placement English class Photo credit: Avondale School District

Avondale teacher Rick Kreinbring instructs students in his Advanced Placement English class
Photo credit: Avondale School District

Avondale High School teacher, Rick Kreinbring, spent a week this summer as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Scholar studying at Delta State University in Mississippi. NEH, an independent federal agency awarding grants for programming that strengthens teaching and learning in schools and colleges focuses on the Humanities and the relevance of its core components including language, history, philosophy, cultural studies and social sciences. Educational programs sponsored by NEH include a variety of seminars and content ranging from “Scholarship and Performance: A Combined Approach to Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays” to “Africa in World History” to “The News Media and the Making of America” to “Empire City: New York and the Transformation of American Life, 1877-1929.” Seminars are taught by University Professors widely regarded as experts in their field supported by authors and practitioners in the areas of study.  College and high school teachers submit to a competitive application process similar to college application.

Kreinbring was selected to attend the week-long session, “The Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop, part of the Landmarks in American History and Culture series.  Music, culture and the history of the Mississippi Delta are incorporated into the workshop that explores why the Delta is often called “the cradle of American culture.” The seminar brought together teachers of different disciplines from across the country for a week of immersive instruction and collaboration. The aim of the workshop is to provide teachers with high quality professional development covering specific content as well as innovative teaching methods. The workshop took Kreinbring on a journey that included the Civil Rights Trail where he observed a panel discussion of the lasting impact of the Emmett Till case, literature of the Delta and a study of that most American of music, the Blues.

At the conclusion of an NEH workshop, participants are required to submit plans for using the knowledge and techniques learned in their home classrooms. Kreinbring plans to incorporate place and music as primary texts and will add newly learned techniques to the techniques he acquired through previous NEH experiences. “The experience of going to a region that shaped a significant part of our cultural, a place with such deep musical and literary roots gave me a new understanding of the importance of place. That perspective will help me when I am working with my students this year. I hope it’ll be a deeper and richer experience for them,” said Kreinbring.

A teacher in the Avondale School District Advanced Placement program for 25 years, Kreinbring has participated in four NEH workshops in the past. He is also part of a statewide research project through the Michigan Teachers as Researchers Collaborative partnered with the MSU Writing in Digital Environments Program; and has presented at the National Advanced Placement Convention, the National Council of Teachers of English conference and the International Society for Technology in Education. Additionally, this past summer he participated in the Oakland Writing Project Summer Institute and conducted several professional training workshops for districts around the State of Michigan.

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to editor@rochestermedia.com.

Speak Your Mind