Teaching American History

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Louisiana 2003 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Lafayette Parish Public Schools, Lafayette, LA
Project Name: My Freedom: An Innovative and Comprehensive Professional Development Program for American History Teachers
Project Director: James H. Easton (337) 236-6825
Funding: $999,829
Number of Teachers Served: 77
Number of School Districts Served: No information available
Number of Students Served: 8,200

In collaboration with its partners-the Smithsonian Institution, the National Council for History Education, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College-this project offers professional development to elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Each year teachers attend two 3-day seminars, a full-day summer colloquium, full-day Saturday seminars, and three 1-day summer technical workshops. Topics for year 1 (Foundation of Freedom) activities focus on: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Civil War and its causes, and slavery. Year 2 (Reconstructing a Nation) focuses on: Reconstruction, Native Americans during the Homestead Era, industrialization, minority issues, immigration, and urbanization. Year 3 (Modern Expressions of Freedom) focuses on: post-World War II America, feminism, the Vietnam War, and Supreme Court decisions, including Brown vs. Board of Education. Content is supplemented by workshops on integrating the use of technology and the Internet into the classroom and field trips to historic sites and conferences.

Grantee: New Orleans Public Schools, New Orleans, LA
Project Name: Teaching American History: New Orleans Public Schools at the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase
Project Director: Michael Sartisky (504) 523-4352
Funding: $995,403
Number of Teachers Served: 396
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 47,500

Through a partnership with Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the district-in which almost half the teachers are uncertified-will create a series of eighteen 4-week graduate-level "Teacher Institutes for Advanced Study in Traditional American History, six per summer, to train virtually all middle and high school teachers and a larger number of elementary school teachers who teach American History. Aimed at revising the U.S. History curricula in grades 4, 8 and 11 and Louisiana history in grade 7, the professional development program provides strategies, materials and technology to help students better understand the American Revolution, Articles of Confederation, U.S. Constitution, the Dred Scott decision, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Populism and Progressivism, World War I, the Great Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the New Frontier, Vietnam, and the historical roots of other issues faced by Americans today. School-year in-service sessions at school sites, local museums, archives, and other institutions supplement study at summer institutes.

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Last Modified: 02/15/2008