Teaching American History

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Texas 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Region V Education Service Center, Beaumont, TX
Project Name: Conceptualizing American History: From Source-To Event-To Consequence
Project Director: D'Lana Barbay (409) 951-1877
Funding: $774,697
Number of Teachers Served: 190
Number of School Districts Served: 80
Number of Students Served: No information available

The centerpiece of this professional development initiative is a 105-contact hour pre-service summer workshop for 90 middle and high school American history teachers at Sam Houston State University, the project partner. Participants return for follow-up sessions in October and March, and 100 additional teachers receive less intensive in-service training on improving student understanding and appreciation for American history. The summer workshop curriculum focuses on identifying historical questions; four themes-The Reach of Government in American Life, Individual Rights in a Multicultural Society, The Relationship of People and the Land, America's Place in the World-event analysis; and application of learning strategies. Online resources sustain new professional networks of teachers and historians.

Grantee: Education Service Center, Region 2, Corpus Christi, TX
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Stephen VanMatre (361) 561-8554
Funding: $996,965
Number of Teachers Served: 110
Number of School Districts Served: 42
Number of Students Served: No information available

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Del Mar College, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, USS Lexington Museum, and KEDT-TV public television will collaborate in this effort to improve student performance in American history, expand teacher content knowledge and skills, increase numbers of certified teachers, retain highly qualified American history teachers, and create a model professional development program for K-12 U.S. history teachers. Teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 from an 11-county area will be divided annually into cohorts of veteran, new, and "out-of-field" U.S. history or social studies teachers, with each cohort assigned to mentor the less experienced cohort. Activities include over 600 hours of integrated workshops, lectures, summer institutes, hands-on learning, seminars, materials production, and website development covering History Alive! strategies, use of historical documents, American frontier life (19th and 2th centuries), the Civil War, the European conquest of Native American lands in early U.S. history, the U.S. Navy in the Pacific in World War II, and guidelines for teaching U.S. history as a separate subject within the core curriculum.

Grantee: Dallas Independent School District, Dallas, TX
Project Name: History as Inquiry
Project Director: Larry Harmon (972) 925-3497
Funding: $996,893
Number of Teachers Served: 200
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The district is partnering with the University of Texas at Dallas, Learners Online and History Alive! Teachers Curriculum Institute to provide seminars, summer institutes, and interactive experiential learning for 200 American history teachers in grades 5, 8 and 11 drawn from low-performing campuses. Summer institutes aligned to state standards address U.S. Constitutional History, Sectionalism and the Civil War, the World Wars, Civil Rights, and the Cold War. Seminars will concentrate on 20th century events. Participants will also receive training on inquiry-based instructional methods. History teachers district-wide will benefit from project resources including 12 new training models and 80 student web lessons based on state American history standards.

Grantee: The North Hills School, Irving, Texas
Project Name: SEATTAH (Striving for Excellence and Accountability in the Teaching of Traditional American History)
Project Director: Rosemary Perlmeter (972) 501-0645
Funding: $644,000
Number of Teachers Served: 120
Number of School Districts Served: 130
Number of Students Served: Information not available

The North Hills School District in Irving, Texas, has partnered with the University of Dallas, Dallas Institute, and National Association of Scholars to establish a project to broaden and deepen teachers' knowledge of the fundamental documents, ideas, individuals, and events that have shaped American history and politics. SEATTAH will recruit 120 teachers from charter schools throughout Texas and from traditional school districts in Regions 10 and 11, with special efforts to recruit from under-performing schools. During 3-week summer seminars and ongoing colloquia and workshops in the fall and spring, participants will receive high-level, intensive instruction about America's founding principles, challenges to those principles, and significant turning points in the history of America. Content covers significant documents such as the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Massachusetts Body of Liberties, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, and U.S. Constitution. Other content may address North and South Cultural Differences, Myth and American History, and Wars and Words: Rhetoric and Education. American literary works-prose, poetry, and autobiography-will be examined to give U.S. history a compelling vividness.

Grantee: Fort Worth Independent School District, Fort Worth, TX
Project Name: Project FLAG (Foundation for Learning American History Grant)
Project Director: Juanita Silva (817) 871-2510
Funding: $995,191
Number of Teachers Served: 90
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Collaborators on the district's project to assist history teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 with content knowledge and teaching strategies include Texas Christian University-AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Public Library and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. FLAG will use the National Staff Development Council's Models of Staff Development to deliver research-based training in combination with history institutes, Super Saturdays featuring hands-on activities, the History Alive! curriculum, history fairs, a website linking learning communities, and a Texas Council for Social Studies conference. The 30 teachers selected yearly, with priority to those serving low-performing schools, will serve as future master American history teachers. Content covers colonial life, the Gilded Age, exploration, American Revolution, Articles of Confederation, progressive era, colonization, Constitution, Bill of Rights, foreign affairs 1898-1917, slavery and emancipation, Jackson and reform, the Depression, World War II, immigration and industry, manifest destiny, Civil War, Cold War, hopes for peace and prosperity, civil rights, and the Vietnam War.

Grantee: Region IV Education Service Center, Houston, TX
Project Name: Teaching American History Grant: Video Conferencing
Project Director: Jo Ann Wheeler (713) 744-6507
Funding: 970,086
Number of Teachers Served: 300
Number of School Districts Served: 54
Number of Students Served: 903,257

Region IV Education Service Center, in collaboration with the University of Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will improve teachers' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of American History through statewide videoconferencing and web-based support, including web casting, online discussions and a project web site. Each program year, 100 American History teachers from across Texas will participate in a two-week video conferencing summer seminar held at five sites across the state to examine essential topics in American History and explore how recent scholarship can be brought effectively into the classroom. Program content will include topics ranging from Early Colonial America through Reconstruction and the 20th Century to improve student American History learning in grades 5, 8, 10 and 11. Professional historians with expertise in pre-Colonial American History to the present will lead all content mastery portions of the summer seminars. Monthly videoconferences featuring professional historians, museum professionals and other experts; web-based support, including web casts, online discussions and the program web site; and monthly teacher-led workshops will supplement teacher training received during the summer seminars.

Grantee: Victoria Independent School District, Victoria City, TX
Project Name: Victoria's Teaching American History Program
Project Director: Susanne Carroll (361) 788-9303; email: (no information available)
Funding: $656,151
Number of Teachers Served: 36
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

To create staff development opportunities for new and experienced U.S. history teachers in grades 5-10, the district is partnering with Victoria College, University of Houston-Victoria Library, Texas A&M International, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, South Texas Archives & Special Collections, Texas State Historical Association, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Archeological Society, Texas Settlement Region, and Presidio La Bahia. Collaboration will enable monthly seminars, historic site visits, summer institutes, modeling of lessons by master teachers, and development of technology resources for teaching American history, with the overall objective of improving student performance on state American history tests.

Grantee: Weslaco Independent School District, Weslaco, TX
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Chris Arrendondo (956) 969-6605
Funding: $756,939
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

In partnership with University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg-known for preparation of bilingual teachers-the district will enroll 16 American History Mentor Teachers in a graduate program to receive a master's degree in history. Aimed at creating a cadre of master teachers who extend their expertise district-wide, the project will train Mentor Teachers in mentoring/coaching skills, technology uses, and development of classroom products addressing needs of all district U.S. history teachers. The project provides professional development activities in history content and pedagogy to additional American history teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 through intensive 5-day summer colloquia, 10 seminar days each year, a website, and evaluation measures intended to better prepare teachers to meet new state assessment standards. Content includes: researching primary sources, patterns of settlement, migration and immigration, British colonial policy in North America, the American Revolution, World War II, the 1950s and civil rights, the Cold War and Korean War, and effects of Middle East tensions on the U.S. economy.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008