Teaching American History

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Rhode Island 2004 Grant Abstract
Archived Information

Grantee: Providence School Department, Providence, RI
Project Name: Contingencies: Significant People, Events and Documents in the Making of a Democratic Republic
Project Director: David M. Fitzsimons (508) 675-1735
Funding: $871,632
Number of Teachers Served: 40
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The district is partnering with the National Council for History Education, University of Rhode Island, and seven other Rhode Island organizations to provide comprehensive professional development for high school teachers of American History in a low-performing, high-poverty area. A series of 27 one-day seminars focus on traditional topics from the founding of the United States to the present, emphasizing key people, events and documents. Advance readings and morning sessions concentrate on content, while afternoons are devoted to creating primary source lesson plans designed to develop students' historical habits of mind. Participants participate in 200 hours of classroom time, earning graduate credit under the direction of historians, learning specialists, and master teachers; engage in six enrichment programs at historical sites; attend summer colloquia; receive subscriptions to the OAH Magazine of History; and attend a national forum for history. "Contingencies" stresses the proposition that actions and ideas have consequences, with the hope of encouraging students to be engaged citizens. Focusing on traditional topics, year 1 content covers 1770-1860; year 2, 1860-1920; and year 3, 1920-present.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005