Teaching American History

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Vermont 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Addison Rutland Supervisory Union, VT
Project Name:The Enduring Legacy of the American Revolution: Liberty, Freedom, and Equality
Project Director:Mike Austin
Number of Teachers Served:80
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:53,334
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Castleton State College, the Rutland Historical Society, and the Slate Valley Museum
Topics:The 18th century struggle for liberty; the 19th century struggle for freedom in the abolition and women's movements; the 20th century struggle for equality in the Civil Rights, labor, and women's movements
Methods:Readings, field trips, summer seminars, support teams, workshops

In this program, teachers will examine the social, legal, and political contributions of heroes (of both genders) who enhanced and furthered the ideals and principles embodied in America's founding documents. Biographies and primary documents will deepen understanding of the impact of these heroes. In the first year, 40 teachers will be in the program and 40 in a control group. The control group of 40 will be automatically accepted into the participant group in the second year. In the final year, 20 teachers from each of the previous two years will participate. Teachers will order outstanding biographies appropriate for students' grade levels and competencies, thus establishing 40 mini-libraries. In addition, Castleton State College will continue to upgrade its primary source collection and U.S. history resources. Year 1 content addresses the causes of the American Revolution and reasons for victory, focusing on George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin. Year 2 includes study of anti-slavery organizations, the Underground Railroad, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War campaigns, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Year 3 deals with the economic boom and social transformations of postwar America and struggles for racial and gender equality and extension of civil liberties.

Grantee Name:Barre City Supervisory Union, VT
Project Name:Freedom and Unity: Reading and Writing about History
Project Director:Sarah Rooker
Number of Teachers Served:135
Number of School Districts Served:14
Number of Students Served:46,600
Grade Levels:3-12
Partners:The Flow of History, the Vermont Historical Society, the Southern Vermont Community Learning Collaborative, the Northeast Kingdom School Development Center, and the Lamoille Area Professional Development Academy
Topics:Year 1, creating a nation, 1763-1815; Year 2, the making of modern America, 1865-1920; Year 3, contemporary America, 1945-the present
Methods:Summer institutes, book groups, workshops, mentoring, History Day, website, historic sites, stipends

This project to offer professional development to U.S. history teachers in rural and small city schools in central and northern Vermont will bring materials and lesson plans to teachers throughout the state. Underscoring the challenge of balancing individual freedom with the goal of advancing the common good, "Freedom and Unity," the state motto, will be a thematic strand along with principles expressed in the nation's founding documents. Studying the complicated story of Vermont's early years-shrouded in myth and legend-and the U.S. Constitution will launch the "Freedom and Unity" theme. In Year 1, the summer institute content focuses on settlements and struggles for democracy from the mid-Atlantic point of view. The Year 2 institute addresses the Industrial Revolution, and will be highlighted by its location in a community dominated by immigrant neighborhoods and historical connections to the Bread and Roses strike of 1912. Year 3 delves into race relations and the Civil Rights movement. Teachers will be able to join the project as full or half participants, but each will create lesson activities. Partnership with the three Educational Service Agencies will provide critical recruitment, coordination, and sustainability assistance, given the state's rural nature.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007