Teaching American History

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Minnesota 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Northfield Public Schools, Northfield, MN
Project Name: Shaping the American Nation: Immigration and Its Historical Impacts
Project Director: Kristin M. Repensky (507) 663-0600
Funding: $640,761
Number of Teachers Served: 87
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 3,871

This professional development project provides teachers in grades K-12 with an in-depth perspective on the impact of immigration on U.S. history using week-long summer seminars and 12 full-day workshops. American history specialists offer an overview of basic American documents, governmental structures, and social and cultural development shaped by immigrants by examining American history from early colonial times through the present. Year 1 focuses on the colonial period; year 2 on the Revolution through 1850; and year 3, from 1850 to the present. Partners include Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges, St. Mary's University, Minnesota History Center, and University of Minnesota's History Department and Immigration History Research Center. Aimed at all students in the Northfield Public School system, the program will invite an additional 30 English teachers to participate.

Grantee: Northwest Service Cooperative #928, Thief River Falls, MN
Project Name: We, Too, Are the People
Project Director: Fayce V. Auchenpaugh (218) 681-8005
Funding: $999,938
Number of Teachers Served: 150
Number of School Districts Served: 42
Number of Students Served: 8,000

This project partners 42 school districts in 12 counties of rural northwest Minnesota with the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, Minnesota Historical Society, Hamlin University in St. Paul, Minnesota Humanities Commission, and Cooperative Ventures, an independent educational evaluation organization in St. Paul. While all districts teach American History as a separate academic subject, the project aligns with an instructional improvement review model designed to broaden instructional skills and content knowledge of American history and literature teachers and build collegial networks. To improve teaching about significant issues, episodes and turning points in U.S. history teachers, participants explore a specific period during 5-day intensive summer institutes, and engage in school-year 2-day institutes to explore how the history of their geographic area fits into the national historical context for that period. The first era to be studied is America: Living the Revolution, 1779-1823. The program includes development of lesson plans and study groups facilitated by curriculum and instructional specialists.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005