The Kemper History Project: From Historical Narrative to Institutional Legacy

Jana Hunzicker


An institutional legacy can be understood as knowledge, values, and shared experiences transmitted by or received from a college or university for the benefit of all who have taught, served, researched, and/or learned there. This article describes a year-long, collaborative writing project carried out by one university to chronicle two decades of an ongoing professional development school (PDS) partnership with 10 area schools. The final outcome of the project—a 155-page, informally published book—commemorated the partnership with a valuable historical record that also documented an institutional legacy. The article includes a discussion of implications for practice, including benefits of writing a historical narrative, challenges to anticipate, and suggestions for getting started. 


collaborative writing, historical narrative, institutiona legacy, professional development school (PDS), school-university partnership

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