Teaching American History

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Texas 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, TX
Project Name:George to George: An American History Collaborative
Project Director:Danielle Lutz (281) 517-6007
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:20,500

Serving the third largest school district in Texas with 42 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, and seven high schools, this staff development program is partnering history teachers in Grades 5, 8, and 11 with Texas A&M University, the State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education Division, American Institute for History Education, Texas State Historical Association, the Bush and Johnson Presidential Libraries, and Learners Online. Teachers' content knowledge and U.S. history instruction will be enhanced through seminars, colloquia, mentoring by Master Teachers and scholars, historical research, site visits, and development of lessons based on primary sources. George to George offers two parallel strands: one geared to fifth and eighth grade needs and one to eleventh grade courses. Some of the common topics include the founding documents, the Progressive Era, wars from 1898-1989, Civil Rights, the Civil War, "Robust to Bust," and industrialism. Eleventh grade teachers additionally study the U.S. in a global, technological world.

Grantee Name:Region XIII Education Service Center, Austin, TX
Project Name:The Relevant Constitution: What Does the Constitution Have to Do with the 20th Century?
Project Director:Carol Curtiss (512) 919-5288
Number of Teachers Served:45
Number of School Districts Served:59
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Region XIII provides services to 59 school districts and 18 charter schools in a 16-county area. In this effort, it is partnering with the Austin Independent School District, the College of Liberal Arts Uteach Program and Center for American History at the University of Texas, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, and the Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities to expose eleventh grade American history teachers to an in-depth examination of how the Constitution affects life today. The 45 selected "teacher leaders" are expected to train 180 additional teachers after the first year and another 200 who will attend a summer institute in Year 3. Activities include a spring preparation workshop, a ten-day summer institute, evening content enrichment sessions, field trips such as a 12-day summer tour, and a fall two-day institute. Content, addressed through the lens of the Constitution, covers the presidential terms of Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush and makes abundant use of primary sources. Issues such as the Watergate scandal, flag-burning, and the impeachment process in the Clinton administration are explored.

Grantee Name:Houston Independent School District (ISD), Houston, TX
Project Name:American Voices: E Pluribus Unum
Project Director:Angela Miller (713) 892-6150
Number of Teachers Served:100
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:100,000

American Voices will create knowledgeable American history teachers at each secondary school in the Houston ISD through initiatives that improve the history knowledge base of new and veteran teachers and teachers of English Language Learners. The program was created by the ISD in collaboration with the University of Houston, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Close Up and Colonial Williamsburg educational foundations, and Digital History (an on-line service). Every summer, participating eighth, tenth, and eleventh grade teachers will attend two-week institutes and weeklong seminars focused on conducting local historical research. Four workshops comprising a "New Teacher History Academy" will be conducted every academic year and supported through peer mentoring. Two annual American history colloquia will be held across the district, and the development of history high schools will be promoted. Organized around three themes, the content covers America as a nation of immigrants, fundamental American values, and forging a stable, democratic, and prosperous American society. As part of the summer seminar series, selected teachers will visit historic sites to further explore the themes.

Grantee Name:Kenedy Independent School District, Kenedy, TX
Project Name:Teaching American History in Karnes County
Project Director:Richard Irizarry (830) 583-4100
Number of Teachers Served:20
Number of School Districts Served:4
Number of Students Served:1,632

This consortium of school districts is partnering with Texas Lutheran University to provide fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade teachers with American history content knowledge and instructional strategies and improve student achievement and attitudes toward U.S. history. The plan calls for adoption of the History Alive! Curriculum, six days of professional development annually, five-day summer institutes, ongoing coaching by a master history teacher, site visits, use of an interactive website, and monthly meetings. Content varies according to grade level. Eighth grade content will cover the early colonial period through Reconstruction, including creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, westward expansion, sectionalism, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights are addressed. Letters, biographies, poetry, songs, diaries and artwork help illustrate the events. The eleventh grade content extends to post-Cold War eras and the civil rights movement.

Grantee Name:Region 10 Education Service Center, Richardson, TX
Project Name:TaRGET American History: Teaching and Relating Great Episodes and Topics
Project Director:Dana Kelley (972) 348-1148
Number of Teachers Served:300
Number of School Districts Served:81
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Region 10 ESC is partnering with seven museums, three universities, and others to provide educators in 81 mostly rural public school districts and 21 charter schools with this professional development program. The grant seeks to deepen fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade teachers' knowledge of significant issues, episodes, and turning points in U.S. history, improve history instruction, and increase student access to primary materials. Using a research-based model, the program includes a ten-day institute, study groups, creation of Virtual American History Trunks, follow-up online training, and independent study. Participants are expected to develop lesson plans and train additional history teachers in their districts. Content focuses on the following five concepts: migration, conflict and change, democracy, reform, and innovation, and covers the 18th to 20th Centuries. Under conflict and change, elementary and middle school teachers study people, documents and episodes of the Civil War. Eleventh grade teachers focus on the treaties, declarations, orders, key individuals, and issues defining World Wars I and II.

Grantee Name:Region 16 Education Service Center, Amarillo, TX
Project Name:Panhandle Area Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching American History
Project Director:Danna Beck (806) 677-5184
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:63
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

The Panhandle Area Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching American History was created by Region 16 Education Service Center, West Texas A&M University, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, and the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History. The Collaborative will improve academic performance in American history among students in eighth and eleventh grades by upgrading professional development for their teachers. Participating educators will increase their U.S. history content knowledge and their ability to analyze primary documents and incorporate them into lesson plans. As part of an ongoing network of American history professionals, participants benefit from year-round educational activities including lectures, field trips, workshops, and annual summer institutes followed by academic-year mentoring by university faculty. The institutes focus on the following: Constitutional Foundations of the U.S. (Year 1); America's Relations with Other Countries (Year 2); and Migration and Immigration (Year 3). Special attention will be paid to using primary sources to create curriculum units tailored to students' abilities. The best lesson and unit plans will be disseminated via the Internet.

Grantee Name:Region 5 Education Service Center, Beaumont, TX
Project Name:Extreme Makeovers: Transforming Students into Historians
Project Director:Marie E. Moreau (409) 923-5416
Number of Teachers Served:72
Number of School Districts Served:Several
Number of Students Served:9,000

The Region 5 Education Service Center established the Extreme Makeover project as part of its long-term collaboration with Sam Houston University. Other partners include the Sam Houston Museum and the George Bush Presidential Library. Extreme Makeover will help intermediate and high school history teachers increase their knowledge of traditional American history, historical methodology, and primary sources, and create lesson plans and instructional strategies that excite students about traditional American history. A key success measure will be improvements in students' levels of achievement. Activities include three-week annual summer institutes complemented by academic-year mentoring by university faculty and in-service training sessions. Materials created during past TAH programs (e.g., a teaching manual and Internet-based discussion groups and resource collections) will be used. Content will focus on government and individual rights in a multicultural country and the impact of land use on society and culture. The intertwining effects of events and trends, on both the national and local levels, will be emphasized.

Grantee Name:San Antonio Independent School District, San Antonio, TX
Project Name:Teaching Historical Literacy in United States History in the San Antonio ISD
Project Director:AmyJo Baker (210) 354-3439
Number of Teachers Served:450
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:34,000

This professional development program links the San Antonio ISD with the Trinity University History Department, the History Alive! programs, the National Council for History Education, the Teachers Curriculum Institute, the Texas State Historical Association-Law Related Education's Institute on the Founding Documents, KLRN-Public Television, the Alamo, and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Teachers in Grades 3,4, and 5 will study the people, ideas, and events surrounding the nation's founding, turning points in American history, and American inventiveness during 12 Saturday seminars, 5 training sessions, technology integration sessions, field experiences, and examination of primary sources. Under broad themes of the impact of "Extraordinary and Ordinary Americans," the content will cover Christopher Columbus, the Spanish/French Explorers and Colonial Settlers through World War II.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005