Teaching American History

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Pennsylvania - Teaching American History 2003 Grants Abstracts
Archived Information

Grantee: Girard School District, Girard, PA

Project Name: Teaching the American Story

Project Director: Jamie Plaster (814) 734-8382

Funding: $993,999

Number of Teachers Served: 150

Number of School Districts Served: 4

Number of Students Served: No information available

Teaching the American Story (TAS) initiative in northwestern Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort between Girard School District, Fort LeBoeuf School District, PENNCREST School District, Union City Area School District, the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5, and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. The project goals are (1) to establish a network of highly skilled, highly trained, master teachers who will share their knowledge of traditional U.S. history with fellow educators, so that the TAS initiative may be sustained throughout and beyond the grant program and infused into the Pennsylvania educational induction and service training systems; and (2) to ensure that northwestern Pennsylvania teachers and administrators have the skills, knowledge and abilities to teach (and understand the importance of teaching) U.S. history as a separate academic subject and as a core learning theme that can be integrated and infused into many learning mediums and opportunities. Teachers will complete 48 hours of training in intensive summer institutes, and will participate in follow-up training to be delivered online. Summer institute content will cover key themes of American freedom including history of war and immigration and freedom of religion; American rights and dreams; and American pride including monuments and meaning. As a result of the staff development provided through the grant, northwestern Pennsylvania teachers will demonstrate higher levels of knowledge and instructional best practices in U.S. History as demonstrated by the posting of at least 75 exemplary standards-based instructional plans to the Web. The project is also creating a copyright-cleared "digital database" that will include digital images and digital video footage that relates to American History. These images will be captured while participating teachers are visiting historical, national sites. This digital material will be available for anyone to access via the Web site.

Grantee: Greencastle Antrim School District, Greencastle, PA

Project Name: Who is the American: This New Man, This New Woman?

Project Director: Michael Meir (717) 264-3532

Funding: $725,545

Number of Teachers Served: 93

Number of School Districts Served: 5

Number of Students Served: No information available

Located in rural Franklin County, "Civil War country," this professional development project partners five school districts and the state-owned Scotland School for Veterans Children with National Council for History Education, Facing History and Ourselves, and Center for Learning and Media-New Media Classroom. Through intensive summer colloquia and institutes, all middle and high school history and social studies teachers will explore with historians 18th, 19th, and 20th Century America-from colonial times to the Civil Rights Movement. Spring and fall one-day workshops focus on Ida B. Wells as a case study of ordinary people in American history and "Becoming American." Four Saturday book discussion groups take place along with training in educational technology aimed at revitalizing American History teaching.

Grantee: Ridgway Area School District, Ridgway, PA

Project Name: Project TEACH (Teaching Educators America's Critical History)

Project Director: Robert Weible (717) 783-9867

Funding: $985,190

Number of Teachers Served: 1,763

Number of School Districts Served: No information available

Number of Students Served: No information available

Project TEACH addresses teachers' needs statewide for increased U.S. history content knowledge, access to historical source, and teaching skills in a joint undertaking of the LEA with Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania Historical Association, Pennsylvania Public Television Network, and Millersville and West Chester Universities. The project expands an ongoing collaboration under a 2001 TAH award, and contributes to meeting new state policy and practice standards. Activities include content-focused immersion provided to 63 master teachers by pairing them with historians during all three years, summer institutes, professional development workshops for an additional 1,700 U.S. History teachers, and web outreach with products and resources to approximately 2,000 teachers of American History across the state. Topics include: Battle of Gettysburg, U.S. Constitution, the Great Depression, the New Deal, women in politics, George Washington in the French and Indian War, Whiskey Rebellion, War of 1812, immigration, religious communities, Native Americans, urbanization, invention, Industrial Revolution, American culture, medicine, the underground railroad, Lewis and Clark, Civil Rights, railroads, and environment.

Grantee: The School District of Philadelphia

Project Name: United yet Divided: Late 18th and 19th Century American Democracy

Project Director: Melvin E. Garrison (215) 299-7480

Funding: $847,450

Number of Teachers Served: 90

Number of School Districts Served: 1

Number of Students Served: No information available

Teachers of grades 5, 8, 11, and 12 receive professional development in four components: seven 5-hour Saturday symposia, a 3-week summer institute, monthly meetings, and a teachers' network. The project offers a historical construct for examining the key five interlocking elements of American Republicanism. Year 1 covers the Promise of the Revolution, 1776-1800; year 2, Building the New Democracy, 1800-1850; year 3, Divided Politics and Civil Conflicts, 1850-1900. Partners include the National Archives Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and Independence National Historical Park.

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Last Modified: 02/15/2008