Teaching American History

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Massachusetts 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Brookline Public Schools, Brookline, MA
Project Name: Defining Justice
Project Director: Richard Young (617) 330-2429
Funding: $726,493
Number of Teachers Served: 72
Number of School Districts Served: 4
Number of Students Served: No information available

Through the resources of Teachers as Scholars, Defining Justice will strengthen the content knowledge of elementary, middle, and secondary school history teachers and update the existing American history curriculum with recent scholarship. Four defining periods will be analyzed in examining the changing idea of justice from America's founding to the present: the Constitutional Convention; Seneca Falls and beyond/the struggle for female citizenship in 19th and early 20th century America; the issue of race; and social justice/individual liberty in the Progressive Era. Activities include content-based seminars during the school year, summer institutes, establishment of a project website and technology training, research activities, and group readings. Partners include the Brookline, Framingham, Malden, and Cambridge school districts, Brandeis University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Teachers as Scholars, and Education Resources Group.

Grantee: Fall River Public Schools, Fall River, MA
Project Name: Making American History Tangible: A Professional Development Project of the Southeastern Massachusetts Teaching American History Consortium
Project Director: Susan S. Horvitz (508) 235-2645
Funding: $970,555
Number of Teachers Served: 200
Number of School Districts Served: 11
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development project will enable American history teachers in grades 5-12 to provide a more content-driven and research-based curriculum. The Consortium of 11 school districts will partner with Bristol Community College, historians, curators and researchers in addition to receiving support from Brown University's Education Alliance. Convocations, a summer institute, colloquia, and intensive research-based seminars will combine content knowledge with training on new instructional modules. Additional assistance includes an interactive website, professional/graduate credits, and collaboration among teachers and history learning specialists. The project addresses subjects identified as needs in a teacher survey: the labor movement, imperial presidency, the garrison state, inter-war years and the Depression, industrialization and immigration with a focus on southeastern Massachusetts, and current events. Colloquia cover constitutionalism and principles of democracy, isolationism and internationalism, federalism, civil rights, civil liberties and human rights, memory and history, and key historical biographies.

Grantee: Hudson Public Schools, Hudson, MA
Project Name: Examination of Critical Turning Points in the History of American Foreign Policy
Project Director: Susan Grasek (401) 863-3155
Funding: $910,493
Number of Teachers Served: 200
Number of School Districts Served: 18
Number of Students Served: 15,000

The Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University will collaborate with 47 secondary schools in 8 states to addresses the LEAs' need to raise student achievement levels through professional development activities that improve history teaching, and the need for increased attention to American foreign policy within core history curricula. Based on Watson's Choices Education Program, the program focuses on key turning points-from the trade triangle of the 18th century to the US role in today's world, with particular attention to the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war. Watson researchers and professional education staff will work with 50 teachers in participating districts to incorporate new resources into their American history curricula, and adopt pedagogical approaches that have proven effective. With continuing support from Watson, the new teacher-leaders will assist 150 additional teachers in their own districts to incorporate the student-centered Choices Program approach to history education.

Grantee: Lowell Public Schools, Lowell, MA
Project Name: Communities of Scholars, Communities as Classrooms
Project Director: Peter Savage O'Connell (978) 970-5080
Funding: $961,600
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 10,000

Partnering with University of Massachusetts historians and educators, Tsongas Industrial History Center, and Lowell National Historical Park, the district will create a long-term, integrated professional development program for American history teachers in grades 5 and 8. Graduate seminars, 5-day summer institutes, and research-oriented mini-sabbaticals for 15-20 teacher leaders will link with mini-courses and creation of a U.S. history resource center for all 5th and 8th grade teachers. The program aligns with new state history curriculum standards, which current 5th graders will be required to meet. Content focuses on the 17th and 18th centuries for 5th grade teachers, and the American Revolution through the end of Reconstruction for 8th grade history teachers.

Grantee: Plymouth Public School District, Plymouth, MA
Project Name: Teaching American History Teaching
Project Director: Margaret Lowe (508) 531-2406
Funding: $751,771
Number of Teachers Served: 80
Number of School Districts Served: 4
Number of Students Served: No information available

This partnership for improving teaching and learning American history brings together 4 school districts and Bridgewater State College. Intensive summer institutes and weekend modules for middle school and high school history and social studies teachers are supplemented by mentoring, resident scholars, and access to primary documents and archives. Based on prior consultation with teachers and state/national guidelines, institutes will focus on immigration, the Constitution, and civil rights. Weekend modules address the industrial revolution, aviation, Civil War, foreign policy, Kennedy to Carter, women's rights. Activities include a symposium on museums and schools.

Grantee: Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, MA
Project Name: Teaching American History Program 2002-2005. Theme of Citizenship
Project Director: Rosemary Kalloch (413) 787-7074
Funding: $919,458
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This long-term professional development plan for all district American history teachers in grades 3, 5, 8, 10 and 11 builds on an existing collaboration with the Institute for Learning, University of Pittsburgh and strengthens relationships with the Five College Consortium, Springfield Library and Museums, Springfield Armory Museum, University of Massachusetts' History Institute, and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Hall Museum. The project is anchored in 3 3-week summer institutes and 8 workshops during each school year, which explore the concept of citizenship from the Revolutionary era and Constitutional period through the Civil War and Reconstruction, immigration and industrialization, labor struggles, World Wars I and II, to the late 20th century. The approach stresses learner outcomes-demonstrated improvement of student knowledge. Graduate credits are available from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008