Teaching American History

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Wisconsin 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 11, Turtle Lake, WI
Project Name: History Through the Heartland on the I-94 Corridor
Project Director: Kurt Leichtle (715) 989-2020
Funding: $749,589
Number of Teachers Served: 30
Number of School Districts Served: 15
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development program for American History teachers takes participants on a metaphorical journey connecting the regional past to the national past. Readings focus on growth, politics, and immigration and modernization, with the discussion connecting national themes to the physical environment of small towns and the urban metropolis of Wisconsin. Teachers in grades 6-12 will experience local history at different locations along the corridor and complete a research/curriculum project highlighting a key historical theme. Year 1 focuses on the fur trade, Euro-American settlement, environment, natural resources and development; year 2 on politics, reform, growth and material culture; year 3 on the matrix of ethnicity and modernization along with the post-industrial society of metropolis and high technology. Summer colloquia are combined with two-day workshops, development of a website, and individual projects tailored to grade level and student profiles. Partners include University of Wisconsin-River Falls and University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Grantee: Cooperative Educational Service Agency #10 (#9910), Chippewa Falls, WI
Project Name: Learning by Doing: Public History in the Classroom
Project Director: Patricia R. Turner (715) 836-3369
Funding: $999,908
Number of Teachers Served: 205
Number of School Districts Served: 39
Number of Students Served: No information available

This project&3151;the first U.S. graduate curriculum in Public History designed for teachers in grades 4-12—promotes the "doing" of American history in the classroom by providing teachers with content-based professional development in the practice of public history. Partners in this intensive two-year program include 39 school districts in northwestern Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire History Department, Public History Program, and Center for History Teaching and Learning, Chippewa Valley Museum, and State Historical Society. Participants—about two-thirds of all 310 American history teachers in the districts—will receive content knowledge stressing connections among local, regional and national narratives and hands-on experience in technology and instructional strategies; develop, implement and assess curriculum modules, oversee student projects in History Day; establish district-based study groups; and be introduced to public history theory and practice. Following state standards, the curriculum focuses on the American Revolution and early national period, Civil War and Reconstruction; and World War I, and America's emergence as a world power. To involve the maximum number of teachers without overextending personnel resources, teachers will be divided into cohorts of 25 certificate teacher and 75-100 study group members. The program calls for an intensive 3-week summer institute, 5 mini-courses, 2 public lectures, and dissemination of course content by certificate teachers to study group members.

Grantee: Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, WI
Project Name: Weaving American History
Project Director: Sharon Durtka (414) 475-8975
Funding: $875,997
Number of Teachers Served: 90
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 400

The district, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Marquette University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Educational Development Center and Cardinal Stritch University are working in partnership to develop a professional development model for 8th grade teachers who teach American history. The study uses a quasi-experimental research methodology to explore the effects of Weaving American History, collecting data through surveys, focus groups, test scores, interviews and document analyses. Ninety experimental participants in college courses, content/pedagogical workshops, mentoring/coaching, historical site visits, and on-line instruction will be compared with a control group of the same number of teachers and students. The initiative is designed to support students' and teachers knowledge of traditional American history, increase academic achievement, expand collegial relationships, develop a cadre of mentors and coaches, and develop an online course for sustaining professional development in history. Year 1 addresses Making of the American Mind (Pre-Contact to the Early Republic); Year 2, Slavery to Emancipation; and Year 3, Modern America Emerges. Literacy coaches visit classrooms regularly and provide feedback to teachers.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005