Teaching American History

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Washington 2006 Grant Abstract
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Grantee Name:Educational Service District 113, WA
Project Name:Teaching American History Project
Project Director:Anna Kuntz
Number of Teachers Served:20
Number of School Districts Served:45
Number of Students Served:70,289
Grade Levels:7-12
Partners:Evergreen State College, Washington State University, the Washington State Archives, the Olympia Heritage Commission, and the State History Museum
Topics:change and continuity in American democracy; the gathering and interactions of peoples, cultures, and ideas; economic and technical changes and their relations to society, ideas, and the environment; and the changing role of America in the world
Methods:seminars, workshops, field trips, communities of practice, mentoring, online workspace, and media-based technology

This service district serves 45 predominately rural, low-income, remote districts in southwest Washington. Most history teachers are one-person social studies departments and are two or more hours away from high-quality professional development opportunities. Very few schools offer honors or Advanced Placement American history courses, and most schools have extremely outdated history resources. The project will use a blended approach to professional development that capitalizes on the best features of various strategies while eliminating the inadequacies and gaps that arise when any one is used alone and taking advantage of existing the distance education infrastructure. As a result, the blended study approach will effectively connect the teachers to the content, the partners, and each other. Professional development will focus on four historical themes and two ways of knowing and thinking about U.S. history. To make history come alive, a variety of pedagogical methods will be embedded into the presentation of the American history content.

Last Modified: 10/18/2006