Teaching American History

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Illinois 2003 Grant Abstracts
Archived Information

Grantee: Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL
Project Name: Creating a Community of Scholars: Raising Student Achievement through Partnerships and Content-Rich Professional Development
Project Director: Charles Brady (847) 424-7117
Funding: $962,038
Number of Teachers Served: 60
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 20,000

Professional development for K-12 teachers of American history is provided in partnership with Northwestern University, the Newberry Library, the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, and the Minority Student Achievement Network. The project has three components, but the heart of the program is a 2-week summer institute. The Historians-in-Residence portion of the project has two components-teaching as many as six colloquia throughout the school year, and a Master Teacher program. The project also facilitates development of a nationwide network of American history teachers. Content areas include post-World War II America; immigrants; slavery; and the Ku Klux Klan; urbanization and the suburbs; George Washington and his era; the Constitution and civil liberties.

Grantee: Urbana School District #116, Urbana, IL
Project Name: American History Teachers Collaborative
Project Director: Donald Owen (217) 384-3680
Funding: $717,235
Number of Teachers Served: 150
Number of School Districts Served: 17
Number of Students Served: No information available

To disseminate content knowledge and foster communication of best practices in teaching American History, the LEA is partnering with three institutions housing historical documents and artifacts: Urbana Free Library (home of the Champaign County Historical Archives), Champaign County Historical Museum, and Early American Museum. Teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 will focus on Vital Themes of History in three 5-day summer institutes where they will learn from residential professional historians, explore primary sources, and create lesson plans to be published on the project website. Four day-long workshops and four evening discussion groups supplement mentoring to ensure new knowledge is transferred to instructional practice. Teachers also receive fellowships for internships with partner museums. Evaluations of project effectiveness will be based on National Assessment of Educational Progress benchmarks for U.S. History and state standards. Areas of staff expertise include the Founding Era, Constitutional History, and Civil War.

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Last Modified: 02/15/2008