Teaching American History

Current Section
 Office of Innovation and Improvement Home
Florida 2007 Grant Abstracts
Archived Information

Grantee Name:Lake County Schools, FL
Project Name:Roots of the American Identity
Project Director:Liz Hobert
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:2,200
Grade Levels:5
Partners:Florida State University, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Organization of American Historians, Orange County Regional History Center, Florida Law-Related Educational Association, Lou Frey Institute for Politics and Government, and Lake County Library System
Topics:The Encounter and Colonial Settlement; The Revolutionary War; The New Republic; The Concurrent Rise of Nationalism and Sectionalism; The Andrew Jackson Era; Manifest Destiny; Slavery and Law in the Antebellum South; The Civil War, Reconstruction and the Unrepentant South
Methods:Lecture series, summer institutes, tool kits, readings, National Board Certified Teacher Involvement and Action Research Projects

Lake County Schools' current TAH grant focusing on eighth and eleventh grade teachers illuminated the need for vertical alignment of its K-12 American history curriculum, particularly since eighth grade pre-testing indicated inadequate U.S. history background. To overcome elementary teachers' lack of American history content knowledge, this project will provide two groups of 30 teachers with two full, overlapping years of training. Teachers will study the Mayflower Compact, the Maryland Toleration Act, Pennsylvania frontier grievances, early protests against slavery, Galloway's Plan of Union, the Navigation Act of 1696, the Stamp Act Congress, Declaratory Act, and Townshend Revenue Act.

Grantee Name:Marion County Public Schools, FL
Project Name:History Matters
Project Director:Mary Lou Van Note
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:6,000
Grade Levels:6-12
Partners:University of Florida's History Department
Topics:Colonial Encounters, the American Revolution, and the Constitution (1607-1789); Slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction (1800-1880); Populism and Progressives, U.S. Imperialism, and the Cold War (1890-1980s)
Methods:Summer and fall workshops

Three groups of 20 teachers will attend six days of concentrated workshops focusing on eras of American history from the 1600s to the 1ate 1980s in this professional development program. Content training on civics and the Constitution will be delivered through a seminar by "We the People," that will culminate in a five-day trip to Jamestown/Colonial Williamsburg. Targeting teachers of U.S. history and government in 16 district schools in need of improvement, "History Matters" begins with an examination of Spanish, French, and English colonization, events leading to and outcomes of the Revolutionary War, and federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances of the Constitution. Workshops on slavery cover the abolitionist movement, Missouri Compromise, Emancipation Proclamation, and the election of 1876. Modern America topics address the Western frontier, industrialism, immigrants, the New Deal, the Cold War, World Wars I and II, Civil Rights, and the Vietnam years

Grantee Name:Monroe County School District, FL
Project Name:Ties That Bind
Project Director:Jeanne Sanford
Number of Teachers Served:20
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:8,345
Grade Levels:4, 5, 8, 9, and 11
Partners:Colonial Williamsburg, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the Florida Humanities Council, the College Board, and Monroe County May Hill Russell Library
Topics:Year 1, Colonial America; Year 2, Revolutionary America and the 19th Century; Year 3, 20th Century America
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, historic site visits

The Ties That Bind program is an effort to improve American history instruction by teachers serving in one of the country's most unusual school districts-incorporating the 1700 islands of the Florida Keys. Three of the 12 schools in the district are in "corrective action" status and two are "in need of improvement." U.S. history content was selected specifically to meet the assessed needs of the participants. Under Colonial America, topics include settlement patterns, notable individuals, significant events, European imperial rivalries, and colonial history of Florida and the Keys. The Year 2 curriculum addresses the American Revolution, Constitution, early republic, westward expansion, Civil War and Reconstruction, industrialization, and founding fathers. 20th Century America examines globalization, immigration, the two world wars, women's rights and the Civil Rights movements, the Cold War, and development of modern Florida and integration of the Keys into the regional and national economy.

Grantee Name:School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, FL
Project Name:Teaching American History in Miami-Dade County
Project Director:John Doyle
Number of Teachers Served:200
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:5, 8, and 11
Partners:Florida International University, the American Institute for History Education, and Learners Online
Topics:New World Societies, the American Revolution to 1783, gender and slavery, the Civil War, American foreign policy, U.S. Presidency and Congress
Methods:Graduate coursework, lectures, scholar-guided travel

Serving the fourth largest district in the nation, Miami-Dade County Public Schools will provide 200 teachers of American history with three levels of professional education tailored to teacher needs. The highest is a master's degree in American History; the second level consists of seven two-day workshops on content and instructional strategies for three 30-member cohorts of teachers; the third is a series of history lectures reaching an additional 30 participants yearly. The curriculum for teachers in the Intensive Study Cohort workshops includes colonialism, slavery, the Civil War, territorial, economic and political expansion, and defending democracy. The history lectures include presentations on: colonialism, women's history, expansionary epochs, and causes and effects of defending democracy. Spaces are reserved for participants at each level to take part in the scholar-guided travel to historic sites in Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Grantee Name:School Board of Orange County, Florida, FL
Project Name:American Pride Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Janie Phelps
Number of Teachers Served:50
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:177,308
Grade Levels:5, 8, and 11
Partners:The American Institute for History Education, the Orange County Regional History Center, University of Central Florida History Department, the American Institute of Historians and History Educators, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Civil War Society
Topics:Year 1, The British Empire and the colonies, Year 2, The agrarian South and market North, Year 3, The World Wars and foreign policy
Methods:Colloquia, summer institutes, field trip series

Orange County, the eleventh largest school district in the nation, serves students from 179 countries. In this project, American history teacher "Fellows" will create high quality lessons aligned with state history standards. Readings supplement course content covering American political, institutional, and philosophical roots stemming back to Niccolo Machiavelli, James Harrington, Algernon Sidney, John Locke, and others. Courses on the American Revolution will highlight George Washington, John Barry, Anthony Wayne, etc. The roles of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Witherspoon will heighten understanding of the Declaration of Independence. Fellows will explore the Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights, and Congressional giants such as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John Calhoun. Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, William Seward, Alexander Stevens and others will highlight discussions of the Civil War. Content collected throughout the project will be placed in the Binary Paideia framework, as in other TAH grants.

Grantee Name:The School District of Osceola County, FL
Project Name:A History of Us
Project Director:Melba Luciano
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:54,000
Grade Levels:5, 8, and 11
Partners:The University of Florida's Department of History, the National Council for History Education, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Florida Humanities Council, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute
Topics:Colonization and the Founding of the Nation; An Expanding and Dividing United States; The Development of Modern America
Methods:Institutes, seminars, on-site study at historical sites, mentoring

Rapid growth and changing demographics in this central Florida community pose enormous challenges in hiring and retaining teachers. Over half the district's middle and high school American history teachers are not considered highly qualified to teach the subject. Fifteen elementary school, 15 middle school, and 10 high school teachers will participate annually in the A History of Us program. To extend the reach of the project, cohort teachers will organize an Osceola History Council for all history teachers in the district to learn about content presented in project seminars and institutes and how that knowledge can be applied. Content includes the Revolutionary War, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, The First Amendment in American History, Jacksonianism, American Expansion and Reform, Rural and Urban Slavery, the 18th Century family, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, immigration, the Great Depression, the World Wars, and the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century.

Last Modified: 10/23/2007