Teaching American History

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Alabama 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Madison County Board of Education, AL
Project Name:Teachers are Historians in Training (T-HIT)
Project Director:Pamela Gothart
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:11
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:4-6
Partners:The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the University of North Alabama, the Alabama Department of Archives and History, American Village, Veterans Memorial Museum, Burritt Museum, Early Works Museum Complex, and the Alabama A&M/UAH Regional In-service Center
Topics:Year 1, American Revolution/Progressive Movement; Year 2, Second Great Awakening/Reform Movements in the 1920s; Year 3, the Civil War/the Cold War
Methods:Capstone sessions, seminars, summer academy, Blackboard Learning System, mentoring, workshops, historical sites

The T-HIT American history consortium will serve teachers in 11 northeast Alabama districts in which 37 schools in need of improvement have been targeted. While 89 percent of students in participating districts indicate it is "very" or "pretty" important to understand U.S. history, 63 percent say they know little or almost nothing about the subject. The project calls for one cohort of 30 4th and 5th grade teachers to focus on American history from settlement through Reconstruction. The second 30-member cohort of fourth and sixth grade teachers will study Reconstruction through the present. Selected participants will be trained as master teachers. Major historical events and turning points will be explored through the lives of a soldier, governor, slave, writer, and surgeon during the settlement, coming of independence, and new system of government period. Westward expansion, the reform impulse will be examined through the views of a Native American, Mormon pioneer, circuit rider, textile worker ,and author (James Fennimore Cooper). Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction are seen through the eyes of an abolitionist, nurse, former slave, and authors.

Grantee Name:Sheffield City Schools, AL
Project Name:SEARCH (Sheffield Embraces American Responsibilities, Citizenship and History)
Project Director:Sherri E. Baker
Number of Teachers Served:16
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:1,300
Grade Levels:5, 6, 10, and 11
Partners:The University of North Alabama, The American Village, The Hermitage, and the National Civil Rights Museum
Topics:Change and Continuity in American Democracy: Ideas, Institutions, Practices and Controversies; Gathering and Interactions of Peoples, Cultures, and Ideas; Economic and Technological Changes and their Relation to Society, Ideas, and the Environment; The Changing Role of America in the World
Methods:Field studies, workshops, summer institutes, technology training, peer coaching, historic sites

This small school system in the southern Appalachian region serves a community in which poverty places many students at risk. Since Sheffield lacks funds to provide an Advanced Placement (AP) history class, the SEARCH program will allow high school juniors and seniors to take up to five free credit hours at the University of North Alabama each semester. SEARCH will also encourage greater participation of students in distance learning AP American History courses. The content includes: colonization, settlement, the Revolution, expansion and reform, crisis of the union, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Great Depression and New Deal, World Wars I and II, industrialization and urbanization, and voices in the struggle for Civil Rights. A field trip to New York City will highlight economic change and America's new role in the world.

Last Modified: 10/23/2007