Teaching American History

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North Carolina 2006 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Cleveland County Public Schools, NC
Project Name:Making of America Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Robert Brown
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:2 (and 1 charter school)
Number of Students Served:26,000
Grade Levels:K-8
Partners:the University of North Carolina (Greensboro), the American Institute for History Education, the National Humanities Center, Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, the Civil War Institute, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Cold War Museum, and Learners Online
Topics:year 1: the Empire versus the Colonies, year 2: the Agrarian South versus the Industrializing North, and year 3: Liberal Democracy versus Totalitarianism
Methods:colloquia, seminars, summer institutes, visits to historical sites, research, and web activities

The target schools suffer from high rates of teacher turnover, poor teacher background in the subject matter, and low test scores. In fact, overall scores in American history are significantly lower than in any other tested content area. To remedy this, project Fellows will be trained to be teacher-leaders who will bring fellowship information back into their own schools and districts. They will assist other teachers by mentoring, modeling, reviewing lesson plans, and peer coaching. The ultimate goal is to increase student knowledge of American history and to engage them in developing an interest in their nation's past.

Grantee Name:North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NC
Project Name:The Embodied Presidency: Eight Men, the Office, the Historical Moment
Project Director:Virginia S. Wilson
Number of Teachers Served:150
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:155,420
Grade Levels:8, 10-11
Partners:the University of Virginia Library, the Hermitage, and the presidential libraries of Lincoln, Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Johnson, and Reagan
Topics:The Presidencies of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Johnson, and Reagan
Methods:workshops, online resources, travel to presidential research sites, mentoring, the development of presidential instructional packets, and the creation of a website

The project will involve teachers in hands-on research on the presidency of the U.S. in eight historical moments. The project focuses on eight men—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan—and how they mirrored the historical fabric of their times and transformed the office of the Presidency through their force of personality. The project will be coordinated by the school's highly trained history faculty and will be enriched by leading scholars from universities and presidential libraries. Immediate beneficiaries of the project also include the school systems of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Durham.

Last Modified: 08/18/2006