Teaching American History

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South Carlonia 2003 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: District One Schools of Spartanburg County, Campobello, SC
Project Name: Teaching American History Project
Project Director: Ann Greene (864) 472-2846
Funding: $287,916
Number of Teachers Served: 85
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development in American History project involves all teachers of history in District One's grades 3-12, with additional participation in some activities by other history teachers in other districts. It responds to a priority need expressed by 90% of 80 teachers surveyed. Designed to dovetail with the district's Vertical Teaming initiative in which consecutive grade-level teachers structure course content to prevent duplication, the project offers three American History courses for graduate credit, one technology-based course, two ten-day and three three-day institutes, observations of exemplary history teachers, consultations with master scholars, site visits, networking through participation in professional historical association, individual subscriptions to professional literature, and establishment of a website for instructional materials. Partnering with the District are the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg's History and Education Departments and Spartanburg County Historical Association. Content will focus on periods of American history emphasizing key documents and associated events and individuals. Two sections of an American History Documents course will be offered at each high school each semester.

Grantee: Sumter County School District Two, Sumter, SC
Project Name: Using Our History to Guide Our Future
Project Director: Dr. Judy Newman (803) 469-6900
Funding: $719,784
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 9,300

This project trains teachers during two-week summer sessions, creates mentoring relationships during the year, and develops sustainable methods to carry on student learning. Summer institutes develop content knowledge and instruction in American history, which is taught in grades 3, 8, and 11. Of the 25 teachers who participate each year, 5 serve as mentors for the others. Each year, the summer institute focuses on a different period-the early years, 19th century, and 20th century-and person-centered themes-including, Native Americans, Mary Rowlandson and frontier families, Benjamin Franklin and the fight for independence, Thomas Jefferson and republicanism, Frederick Douglass and slavery, Abraham Lincoln and preserving the union, Susan B. Anthony and woman suffrage, Theodore Roosevelt and conservation, Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, Eleanor Roosevelt and human rights, Martin Luther King and the fall of Jim Crow. The school district's partner is the Sumter County Museum.

Grantee: Winthrop Olde English Consortium, Rock Hill, SC
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Agnes Love (803) 581-9533
Funding: $478,502
Number of Teachers Served: 150
Number of School Districts Served: 7
Number of Students Served: No information available

This consortium made up of Winthrop University and seven school districts in four counties aims to examine the importance of and improve American History instruction by teachers in grades 4, 5, 8, and 11. Annual summer institutes focus in year 1 on American beginnings to 1877, in year 2 on 1877 to the present, and in year 3 on "vertical articulation from beginnings to present," a thematic study of American history. Quarterly follow-up sessions are held at local historic sites including Historic Brattonsville, Andrew Jackson State Park, Catawba Indian Nation, Cornwallis House, and Mount Dearborn Military Establishment. Partners are Winthrop University, University of South Carolina, local country libraries, and local historic commissions in each county. The professional development program emphasizes technological resources, lesson plan development, and curriculum alignment teams to establish professional networks. A steering committee representing districts in this Piedmont area of South Carolina will help guide the project, attend segments of summer institutes and historic site visits, and coordinate virtual field trips for history teachers.

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Last Modified: 02/15/2008