Teaching American History

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West Virginia 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Regional Education Service Agency II, Huntington, WV
Project Name:Teaching American History in RESA II
Project Director:Kelly Watts (304) 529-6205
Number of Teachers Served:2,700
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:38,000

This collaborative program created by the staff at RESA II and the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University seeks to improve student achievement through enhancing educators' knowledge and skills. The program is tailored for upper elementary and secondary school teachers in six West Virginia counties, and aims to help educators enhance their understanding of American history, create innovative curriculum, and develop instructional skills. Participants will attend two intensive one-week summer institutes each year to learn about key topics in traditional American history. In addition, American history learning communities composed of educators and administrators will meet with program participants throughout the academic year to help them to apply their new knowledge and skills in the classroom. Year 1 content examines the American Revolution and the Civil War. Year 2 extends these topics to the era of Reconstruction. Year 3 covers the Progressive Era and America between the World Wars. The skills training component emphasizes incorporation of primary documents and modern technology into classroom instruction.

Grantee Name:Upshur County Schools, Buckhannon, WV
Project Name:American HEART: Americans Who Made History
Project Director:Lynn Bennett (304) 842-4166
Number of Teachers Served:20
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

To create master teachers of American history, a cadre of 20 secondary teachers will form a Professional Learning Community, which will meet in monthly book studies, participate in five one-day seminars, engage in online learning throughout the school year, and attend a nationally recognized workshop for teachers. The capstone of this project, which partners the LEA with West Virginia Wesleyan College, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is the development of a full credit high school history course on the Civil War. Along with meeting with authors and historians, participants will work with primary source materials, engage in discussion groups and teleconferencing, and learn new instructional strategies. Readings reflect the historical eras studied, which encompass American history from 1630 to 2000. Specific topics are Early America, the Colonial Period, Revolutionary America, the Young Republic, Expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Industrialism, Reform, Prosperity and Depression, the New Deal and World War II, Vietnam, and the End of the Century.

Last Modified: 10/31/2006