Teaching American History

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Pennsylvania 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Lewisburg, PA
Project Name: Partners in History: A Teaching American History Initiative
Project Director: Kathy Bohinski (570) 523-1155
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 45
Number of School Districts Served: 17
Number of Students Served: No information available

The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU), a rural local educational agency covering 5 counties in north central Pennsylvania, has teamed with the State Museum of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State Archives to conduct a professional development project designed to create teams of master teachers. Teachers will participate in museum residencies, working directly with curators and archivists to increase their knowledge of American history and create lesson plans and an online database for student orientation to new history and collections covering aspects of every theme and era of American history. Professional development courses resulting from the museum workshops will become available on-line. Content will cover the Revolutionary period, early negotiations with Native Americans, Underground Railroad, Civil War, discovery of oil at Titusville, Andrew Carnegies and the steel industry, military history from the American Revolution to Desert Storm, and other topics.

Grantee: School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Project Name: Paper, Principles, and Progress: The U.S. Constitution, Citizenship, and Our National Identity
Project Director: Melvin Garrison (215) 299-7797
Funding: $919,908
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Paper, Principles, and Progress is a collaboration between the school district and National Constitution Center to enhance content knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution, and increase the capacity of American history teachers in grades 5, 8, 11, and 12 to present this knowledge in engaging, interactive ways. Teachers will then work together to translate new, experiential education into classrooms lessons. The professional development program includes 3-hour Saturday symposia for which participants receive Constitution-specific software and technology training in lieu of payment; 3-week summer institutes focuses on themes related to the Constitution, and bi-monthly meetings providing follow-up support and networking opportunities. The year 1 institute covers the early era, 1787-1865; year 2 addresses values and principles shaping American institutions and practices; and year 3 explores definitions of "We the people." Workshops will take advantage of Philadelphia historic sites and sites in Washington, DC or Colonial Williamsburg.

Grantee: St. Mary's Area School District, St. Mary's, PA
Project Name: Penn State American History Project
Project Director: David Saxe (814) 231-8524
Funding: $567,662
Number of Teachers Served: 25
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 2,651

The LEA is partnering with Pennsylvania State University, National Association of Scholars, Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission, and Colonial Williamsburg to provide expert instruction on the content and skills K-12 teachers need to teach traditional American history focusing on America's founding through the Civil War Topics focus on great ideas and issues; individuals, events and turning points; and people and places. Summer institutes address teaching strategies and technological applications, while intensive historic site workshop/internships at numerous national and regional sites provide living history demonstrations. As an exemplary history teaching program for rural schools, the project will demonstrate the use of advanced technology for history teaching at one rural school site. A website and CD-ROM will share resources and results. Content will focus on great ideas and issues; individuals, events and turning points; and people and places in American history.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008