Teaching American History

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New York 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Albany, Schoharie, Schenectady, Saratoga BOCES, Albany, NY
Project Name: Upstate New York Teaching of American History
Project Director: James H. Collins (318) 786-3255
Funding: $909,966
Number of Teachers Served: 1,500
Number of School Districts Served: 76
Number of Students Served: 22,500

This collaborative effort to improve American history teaching project partners the Capital Region BOCES, 2 other rural upstate New York BOCES, 76 mostly rural school districts, Union College, Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor, Greater Capital Regional Teacher Center, and New York Historical Association (NYSHA). 90 in-/pre-service teachers participate in Union College summer institutes and an additional 15 master teachers receive training through the NYSHA. Professional development is provided to 500 teachers each year through interactive distance learning resources aimed at enhancing content knowledge and teaching strategies, reducing professional isolation and building a permanent alliance among U.S. history educators. Content includes the American Revolution, U.S. Constitution, and Civil War.

Grantee: Community School District 8, Bronx, NY
Project Name: American History Project
Project Director: John-Paul Bianchi (718) 409-8104
Funding: $997,660
Number of Teachers Served: 96
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

American history teachers from 8 middle schools will participate in a program to improve teaching methodology and achievement of low-performing students. Partnering organizations include the New York Historical Society providing research skills, education on use of primary sources and examples of material culture, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum providing education on America's immigrant history and effective pedagogical practices. Other partners include AUSSIE literacy consultants focusing on theoretical knowledge, instruction and curriculum development; Nystrom Corporation offering hands-on learning using maps, texts and photographs; and Rosen Publishers providing expertise on primary source documentation. The project addresses literacy deficiencies affecting 80% of the middle school students. Topics include: migration and ethnic conflict, Declaration of Independence, the gold rush, abolition and women's rights, labor issues and political reform, westward expansion and Native Americans, slavery, the Great Depression, and other subjects.

Grantee: Community School District Ten, Bronx, NY
Number of Students Served: Developing Master Teachers in American History
Project Director: Barbara Rosenberg (718) 329-8061
Funding: $999,850
Number of Teachers Served: 189
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 8,700

The project brings New York University's School of Education and College of Arts and Science, the Museum of the City of New York, Colonial Williamsburg, and the National Park Service together to provide teachers in grades 4, 7 and 8 with advanced history education and pedagogical training. The program includes summer institutes and school year follow-up, electronic field trips, interactive classroom events, seminars, videoconferencing, and mentoring from a historian-in-residence. Institutes will introduce participants to the approaches and methods used by historians and cover major events from the Age of Discovery to the dawn of the 21st century. Topics include early and 18th century America, the Jacksonian movement, Civil and post-Civil War, urbanization, social protest in the 19th and 20th centuries, and emergence of the U.S. as w world power. A resulting master teacher cadre is intended to serve as a change agent by mentoring colleagues.

Grantee: Community School District 15, Brooklyn, NY
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Alison Sheehan (718) 330-9300, ext. 123
Funding: $999,936
Number of Teachers Served: 125
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 7,260

The project is a collaborative effort of the school district, the College of Mount St. Vincent, the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, Historic Houses of New York City, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and the South Street Seaport Museum. Targeting 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade U.S. history teachers, the project aims to strengthen teaching skills and teacher content knowledge, raise student achievement, establish U.S. history as a separate academic subject, and create collaborative relationships supporting instruction. It includes graduate-level coursework, museum studies, seminars, ongoing professional development, research/curriculum development, and field trips to historic sites.

Grantee: Community School District 16, Brooklyn, NY
Project Name: Spotlight on American History
Project Director: Lisa Gibbs (718) 574-2800
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 200
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 8,000

This partnership between the district, New York and Brooklyn Historical Societies, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and Queens College of the City University of New York targets teachers of American history in grades 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8. Summer institutes to enhance standards-based content knowledge and pedagogy are supplemented by monthly professional development activities, a 3-day service planning institute in August, fall and spring district-wide American history conferences, inter-visitation, mentoring, study groups, colloquia and graduate courses in American history. Content will cover themes and events drawn from the 17th-20th centuries using primary source materials. A week-long summer institute is devoted to in-depth study of the American Revolution as a foundational moment in U.S. history.

Grantee: Community School District 18, Brooklyn, New York
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Barbara Berg (718) 927-5249
Funding: $993,323
Number of Teachers Served: 170
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 20,000

The district's American history project has three components: (1) 35 master/leadership teachers, representing each elementary and middle school will participate in a rigorous 3-year program of content strengthening, curriculum development, and customized action research; (2) 135 classroom teachers in grades 4, 7, and 8 will participate in American history content building activities and receive support from the master/leadership teachers throughout the project period; (3) 200 parents will participate in workshops and activities focused on developing strategies for supporting the learning of American history by their children. The district's partners include the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Grantee: Office of the Superintendent, Queen's High Schools, Flushing, NY
Project Name: American Legacy
Project Director: Ann Organisciak (718) 281-7532
Funding: $722,168
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The project enables 25 American history high school teachers per year to participate in a year-long comprehensive professional development program in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Barnard College at Columbia University. By building teaching capacity, the project aims to ensure students are capable of passing the U.S. history and Government Regents tests required in New York for graduation. Content-based topical and summer seminars are supplemented by workshops on exemplary pedagogical practices, opportunities for applying and evaluating classroom learning experiences, history forums, museum/library visits, and conferences. A major goal calls for teachers to base lessons on essential questions; demonstrating history is not simply facts but concepts requiring discussion. Content includes the colonial period and American Revolution, Founding Fathers and Federalist period, abolition and slavery, Lincoln and the Civil War, New York and the Gilded Age, the U.S. from World War I to the Depression, the American West, and the New Deal.

Grantee: Jamestown Public School District, Jamestown, NY
Project Name: Teachers Discovering History as Historians
Project Director: Judith Guild (716) 483-4451
Funding: $741,804
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 19
Number of Students Served: Information not available

The project will engage 100 teachers in a continuing professional development opportunity over 3 consecutive summers. The program will be implemented by a consortium of the district and other 18 public school districts of Chautauqua County in western New York State. The consortium will work with partners including: the Fenton History Center, the Robert H. Jackson Center for Justice, Jamestown Community College, the Prendergast Library, the Chautauqua Institution, the Chautauqua County Teachers Center, and teaching staff from St. Johns University, Vanderbilt University, St. Bonaventure University, and the University of Buffalo. Each summer, the consortium will host teachers in a 7-12 day summer institute developed around 1 of 3 topics: the growth of government and the impact of turning points, struggles for justice, and U.S foreign policy. Participants will develop common use lesson plans to be published on a website. In-service conferences will take place in the fall and spring along with optional symposia.

Grantee: New York City Board of Education/Manhattan High Schools Superintendent's Office, New York, NY
Project Name: Enduring Themes in American History: A Professional Development Model for Teachers in an Urban School District
Project Director:Lainie Leber (212) 501-1103
Funding: $998,483
Number of Teachers Served: 165
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This project to develop a critical mass of teacher-historians in every district school to mentor/coach other teachers and improve student history performance brings together Manhattan High School Superintendency, Columbia University's Teachers College, Oral History Research Center and Institute for Learning Technologies, New York Historical Society, and The Constitution Works. While all 165 district U.S. history teachers will participate in program components, 60 will participate in 4-week study cycles exploring enduring themes, summer research institutes, and annual conferences; will mentor colleagues; and will develop instructional materials based on use of primary sources, technology, and other innovative teaching strategies. An American History Museum Pass provides teachers with free access to cultural organizations, and development of a website and New York City Teaching American History Network will facilitate information sharing. Content stresses connections between visions of America's founders with development of core democratic institutions and the impact of events such as the Civil War, World Wars, Depression, Vietnam War and recent history.

Grantee: Dutchess County Board of Cooperative, Poughkeepsie, New York
Project Name: Freedom and Dignity: The Exploration of American Democracy
Project Director: Rose Barer (845) 486-4840
Funding: $837,486
Number of Teachers Served: 250
Number of School Districts Served: 22
Number of Students Served: 17,000

A consortium of school districts in Dutchess and Ulster counties in partnership with Marist College will offer a program to improve the quality of American history instruction through comprehensive staff development. The project will examine events taking place and resources of the Hudson River Valley, which has played an important role in American history. Week-long summer institutes will focus on: The American Revolution: The Creation of American Democracy, The Underground Railroad: The Extension of American Democracy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the New Deal and World War II: The Defense of American Democracy, and Eleanor Roosevelt, Post-War America and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Democracy for All. Follow-up activities include workshops throughout the school year, teacher mentoring, and technology-enhanced networking of teachers and historians. Learning modules promoting interactive learning will be made available by the Hudson River Valley Institute.

Grantee: Yonkers Public Schools, Yonkers, NY
Project Name: Project Americana
Project Director: Fern Eisgrub (914) 376-8213
Funding: $930,000
Number of Teachers Served: 300
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Project Americana will provide general/special/bilingual education, art, and library-media teachers in grades 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, and 12 and their administrators with intensive, systematic, on- and off-site professional development in American history. Partnerships with scholars and cultural institutions will enable faculty teams from 40 schools to examine multiculturalism, unifying themes, key beliefs and traditions from New York and American history, connections among people and events, contributions of individuals and groups, and roles of historical analysis. Manhattan College will synchronize project resources including: the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian featuring 16th and 17th century American Indian culture; New York Historical Society and John Jay Homestead State Historic Site addressing 17th and 18th century new America; Brooklyn Museum and Philipse Manor picturing "Two Sides of Slavery" through 18th and 19th century artifacts; Hudson River Museum illustrating the 19th and 20th century through documents and discovery of the Hudson River and Hudson River School; El Museo del Barrio showing the story of assimilation in 20th and 21st century America through Hispanic-American "Classroom Connections." The Yonkers Teacher Center will collaborate in developing exemplary learning experiences for statewide peer review.

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Last Modified: 02/19/2008