Teaching American History

Current Section
 Office of Innovation and Improvement Home
Iowa 2003 Grant Abstracts
Archived Information

Grantee: Area Education Agency 267, Cedar Falls, IA
Project Name: An American Story: Teaching American History in Iowa
Project Director: Denise Schares (319) 273-8200
Funding: $718,423
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 62
Number of Students Served: No information available

Three cohorts of 25 American history teachers in grades 4-12 will each accrue almost 200 hours of professional development through seven monthly workshops per year, a three-day summer institute, and partnership with mentors and coaches. Collaborators with the Area Education Agency include the University of Iowa's History and Education Departments, Belin-Blank Center, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and Grout Museum of History and Science. Goals include creation of well qualified American history teachers, a sustainable professional network, and increased ability to measure student achievement using the Belin-Blank model emphasizing immersion, focus on curriculum, examination of practice, and participation in collaborative work. In addition to pedagogical skills, subject matter covers Industrialism, Gilded Age, Progressive Era, Great Depression, and roles of women in the emergence of a modern nation. The project also focuses on improving student performance in areas measured by the National Assessment of Education Progress: Change and Continuity in American Democracy; Gathering and Interactions of Peoples, Cultures, Environment, and The Changing Role of America in the World.

Grantee: Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, Bettendorf, IA
Project Name: Learning Through History: Mississippi Bend AEA Collaboration
Project Director: Jan Yoder (563) 344-6401
Funding: $845,970
Number of Teachers Served: 70
Number of School Districts Served: 22
Number of Students Served: No information available

This program will provide 200 hours of professional development in American History teaching to teachers in grades 4-6 in Eastern Iowa brings school districts together with Davenport Putnam Museum of History, Augustana College, University of Northern Iowa, Learner's OnLine, History Alive! and Iowa Archeological Society. Objectives include improving instructional skills through professional learning teams that assist staff in using literacy benchmarks and technology and significantly increasing student achievement in American history and literacy. Activities are carried out through summer institutes and school year immersion activities and workshops, professional learning teams, technology integration to access and effectively present primary sources, and development of teaching portfolio and web-based units to share strategies and knowledge. Topics focus on core historical themes of the NAEP U.S. History framework spanning 1607 to the present: change and continuity in American democracy; gathering and interactions of peoples, culture and ideas; economic and technological changes and their relation to society, ideas and the environment; and the changing role of America in the world.

Grantee: Washington Community School District, Washington, IA
Project Name: Bringing History Home Phase II
Project Director: Elise Fillpot (319) 358-1434
Funding: $938,860
Number of Teachers Served: 128
Number of School Districts Served: 3
Number of Students Served: 24,000

Bringing History Home Phase II seeks to expand a successful elementary history program for K-6 graders funded by a 2001 Teaching American History grant to three rural Iowa school districts and 28 additional teachers from other districts. Its two-year sequence of workshops is combined with month-long classroom projects twice a year, and creation of an Iowa network of elementary history advocates. Collaborating partners include the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Indiana University and St. Ambrose University in addition to Iowa Public Television and the Hometown Perry, Iowa Museum. In the final year, teachers, mentors, historians and education specialists gather for an inaugural Elementary History Education Conference. Using primary and secondary resources, content builds on themes introduced in earlier grades: industrialization, immigration, the Progressive Era, slavery and civil rights, the environmental movement, and political, military, social, and economic units reflecting the National Standards for History.

Print this page Printable view Send this page Share this page
Last Modified: 02/15/2008