Teaching American History

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Illinois 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Homewood Flossmoor Community High School District #2, Flossmoor, IL
Project Name:Homewood-Flossmoor American History Consortium
Project Director:Denny Schillings (708) 799-3000
Number of Teachers Served:15
Number of School Districts Served:5
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Established to develop teacher expertise in American history and improve student achievement, this consortium is a collaboration among five south suburban high school districts representing 12 ninth through twelfth grade campuses, the Newberry Library, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The professional development program calls for 15 teachers to be selected from consortium schools to pursue eight consecutive semesters, including summers, of graduate coursework in U.S. history, along with eight symposia. Over the project's life, participants will be exposed to eight graduate courses intended to enrich their teaching skills. Courses include Problems and Cases in American History (prior to and post-1877); American Indian History as U.S. History; Religion, Democracy, and Public Life in American History; American Labor and Immigration History; the U.S. in the 1960s; The Progressive Era; and Race and Politics since Emancipation.

Grantee Name:Regional Office of Education #26, Macomb, IL
Project Name:Exploring America: Teachers Bringing Traditional American History to Students
Project Director:Wilma J. Lewis (309) 837-4821
Number of Teachers Served:56
Number of School Districts Served:15
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

In cooperation with the Western Illinois University History Department, high school teachers in 15 counties in west central Illinois will expand their knowledge and understanding of American history through continuation of a four-year TAH grant encompassing spring and fall workshops, lesson planning, and week-long study visits to sites relevant to the American Revolution and the Civil War. Exploration of such sites as Mount Vernon, Harper's Ferry, sites in Washington, DC, Antietam, Bull Run, Gettysburg, and Jamestown will deepen understanding of both Revolutionary and Civil War history. San Francisco, home of the Gold Rush, and New York City, destination of immigrants, will be other tour visits. World Strides, which arranges travel of other TAH grants, will plan the summer tours in cooperation with historians.

Grantee Name:Urbana School District #116, Urbana, IL
Project Name:American History Teachers' Collaborative
Project Director:Donald D. Owen (217) 384-3680
Number of Teachers Served:200
Number of School Districts Served:7
Number of Students Served:Almost 21,000

The American History Teachers' Collaborative brings together seven central Illinois school districts with the Champaign County Historical Society Museum, the Early American Museum of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District, the Illinois State Archives, and the Great Lakes Regional Center of the National Archives. Aimed at increasing student achievement in American history by working with teachers in Grades 3 to12, the professional development program presents content knowledge and fosters best practices through weeklong summer institutes and four workshops each school year. Teachers will examine major themes in American history: the Founding of the Nation (Year 1); America's Expansion (Year 2); and Civil Rights and Responsibilities (Year 3). Particular attention will be paid to the local impact of these events and the use of primary sources. All participants will collaborate with local historians to conduct research and develop model lesson plans. A website, including an on-line forum, will promote professional networking and increase access to the model lesson plans and best practices.

Grantee Name:Woodstock Community Unit School District, Woodstock, IL
Project Name:Challenge of Freedom Project
Project Director:Linda B. Spangrud (815) 337-2153
Number of Teachers Served:160
Number of School Districts Served:5
Number of Students Served:23,129

This consortium of school districts in Northern Illinois is partnering with Northern Illinois University, McHenry County College, Rockford College, Northwestern University, Aurora University, and the University of Illinois to provide graduate courses, workshops, seminars, tours, historians in residence, mentors/coaches, evaluations, and website learning environments for all American history teachers, with the content support of four historical societies and four museum partners. Module 1, The Freedom Experiment, covers traditional American history from colonial days through the Civil War. Module 2, the Protection of Freedom, covers Reconstruction to the present. Participants will spend 45 hours each on modules and 32 hours each on seminars, in addition to participation in two graduate courses per year.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005