Teaching American History

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Utah 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Logan City School District, UT
Project Name:Northern Utah Professional Academy for the Teaching of History in Schools (NU-PATHS)
Project Director:Stuart Howell
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:12
Number of Students Served:27,000
Grade Levels:4 and 5
Partners:Utah State University, the American West Heritage Center, Talents Unlimited, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History
Topics:Defining the West; Connecting the West; America and the West
Methods:Seminars, field trips, e-seminars

NU-PATHS builds on the success of a previous TAH grant by extending professional development training to 75 teachers who will become master teachers capable of modeling U.S. history instruction and extending the reach of the project. A detailed thematic framework underlies every project activity, from content to lesson planning, evaluation and event planning: liberty, equality, identities, enterprise, power, and land. This framework will be the lens through which the following content is explored: the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark expedition, Texas annexation, Gold Rush, Compromise of 1850, transcontinental railroad, Chinese-Japanese immigrants, Utah's statehood, the 1905 crisis, World War I, globalization, the New Deal, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, and the environmental movement. To foster a stimulating learning environment, the project will use small groups, modeling, historical contemplation, and hands-on practice with the historian's research techniques.

Grantee Name:Ogden City School District, UT
Project Name:Frontiers in the Making of an American Nation
Project Director:Kathleen Bideaux
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:13,000
Grade Levels:4, 7, 8, and 11
Partners:Weber State University, the Utah State Historical Society
Topics:Year 1, Geographical Frontiers-the Appalachian Mountains and Great Basin; Year 2, Ideological Frontiers-religion and reform, emancipation and empowerment; Year 3, Technological Frontiers-words and ideas, science and innovation
Methods:FLEx readings program, seminars, summer academies, field trips

This district is located in an urban, industrial, military city, which faces challenges of poverty, unemployment, gang violence, and substance abuse. Elementary teachers need innovative ways to weave history into instruction while helping students meet basic reading and mathematics benchmarks. Secondary teacher need tools to make U.S. history engaging. In this project, "Frontiers" teachers will study the many frontiers that have shaped American history. Thirty will participate for three years to become master teachers; 30 will participate two years; and 30 will participate one year. Each year includes a self-paced reading program, 12-hour winter and spring conferences, a five-day summer academy, and historic site visits. Historical events, people, and turning points will be examined in Year 1 through study of the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River, the Sierra Nevada's, and the Great Basin. Year 2 subjects include Federalism, the Constitution and Amendments, religion and reform, emancipation and empowerment movements, and presidential leadership. Year 3 explores technological frontiers in communication, transportation, science, and space. Field trips include Lewis and Clark, Native American, Oregon Trail, Japanese internment, settlement, and other sites.

Grantee Name:Weber School District, UT
Project Name:American History Rendezvous
Project Director:Jeff Stephens
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:29,000
Grade Levels:7, 8, and 11
Partners:Weber State University, the Utah State Historical Society, and "This is the Place" Heritage Park
Topics:Year 1, De Soto and the Mississippians (1539), Mexicans and Americans: California (1850-1915); Year 2, Isolationism and Intervention: McKinley to World War II (1890-1945), America and the Middle East: Immigration, Israel, and Islam (1870-the present); Year 3, Populism and Robber Barons (1865-1900), The Depression Generation vs. the Baby Boom
Methods:Colloquia, summer academies, field trips

American history is full of encounters among people of different cultures, ideas, and needs whose interactions have far-reaching consequences. This project will highlight the views of all participants in key "comings together:" voices of those who did not prevail or have been silenced, as well as the victors. About 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, Weber School District serves a dense military-industrial urban area in which many students struggle against crime, poverty, and substance abuse. While the district recently completed a highly successful TAH project, resources were insufficient for 60 percent of its U.S. history teachers to participate. This project addresses the need to extend the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, relationships with historians, and history research capability to an additional group of secondary school teachers, who will participate in all program activities. In addition to topics listed above, teachers will study encounters at Plymouth, Utah Mormons and "gentiles" (1847-1890), Japanese internment, the colonies and Constitution, states' rights, Red and Blue states, social Darwinism and Progressivism, Civil Rights, and labor and capital (1850-1930). All activities are modeled on benchmarks for professional development in teaching history.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007