Teaching American History

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Maryland 2006 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Howard County Public Schools, MD
Project Name:Making American History Master Teachers in Howard County
Project Director:Mark J. Stout
Number of Teachers Served:30
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:University of Maryland (Baltimore), the Maryland State Archives, the Howard County Historical Society, and the Martha Ross Center for Oral History
Topics:year 1: Reading American history: Reading strategies in the history classroom, year 2: Teaching American history: Primary source investigations, and year 3: Writing American history: Implementing writing strategies to teach American history
Methods:summer institutes, Saturday workshops, and a culminating project

Howard County Public Schools will train a cohort of 30 American history teachers in low-performing elementary, middle, and high schools. The project will enhance teacher knowledge of traditional American history, classroom resources, and instructional skills. Its long-term goal is to create master American history teachers who will, in turn, mentor and support other HCPSS history teachers, conduct professional-development workshops, and participate in regional and national history education conferences.

Grantee Name:Montgomery County Public Schools, MD
Project Name:Conflict and Consensus: Key Moments in U.S. History
Project Director:Elizabeth Brown
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:8-9
Partner:George Mason University
Topics:the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the Civil Rights Movement
Methods:summer institutes, workshops, online resources, and online discussions

Only 12% of 8th and 9th grade American history teachers in the district are highly qualified in history and few have had significant college-level training in American history. The project would target teachers in schools with the highest levels of poverty, diverse populations, and English speakers of other languages (ESOL). Project goals are to increase teacher knowledge of traditional American history, to augment teacher use of primary sources in the classroom, and to broaden student knowledge and interest in traditional American history. This project is designed around key moments of conflict and consensus in U.S. history, such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement. These watershed events provide opportunities to view the ongoing debate over fundamental values and beliefs that unite and divide us. The workshops unite middle and high school American history teachers, including ESOL and special education teachers who are seeking content certification, with prominent historians to improve teachers' content knowledge in U.S. history.

Grantee Name:Washington County Public Schools, MD
Project Name:Western Maryland American History Teachers Initiative
Project Director:Clyde Harrell
Number of Teachers Served:80
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:35,000
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Maryland Humanities Council, the Maryland Historical Society, the Western Maryland Regional Library System, the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, and the historical societies of Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties
Topics:the Constitution, westward migration, and the 20th Century struggle for freedom and justice
Methods:summer institutes, seminars, and weekend study tours

Few secondary school American history teachers in the consortium have had any further training in the subject since beginning their teaching careers. Only 11 of 80 secondary history teachers have master's degrees in history. The project will combine historical content and best practices for teaching American history. Included will be document-based teaching, teaching for historical thinking, and effective use of technology in the classroom. Participants will create model lessons and will be provided follow-up coaching by master teacher specialists.

Last Modified: 12/28/2006