Teaching American History

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Colorado 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Douglas County School District
Project Name:Essential Learnings for American History
Project Director:Roseanne Fulton
Number of Teachers Served:Information Not Available
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:60,000
Grade Levels:Grades 5, 8, 11
Partners:University of Colorado, Denver
Topics:Pre-colonial America, colonial period, American Revolution, Constitution, the new nation
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, peer coaching

The Douglas County School District is a large, rapidly growing district south of Denver, Colorado, and the Sheridan 2 School District is a primarily Hispanic, inner-city district within the Denver metropolitan area. Neither district has meet AYP requirements and, between them, they enroll nearly 60,000 students. Over the three years of this project, a core group of teachers in Douglas County and Sheridan 2 School Districts will participate in three annual week-long history institutes and six one-day school-year seminars each year with historians and master teachers of history to deepen their content knowledge. This core group will be trained and supported in mentoring the other teachers of American history in the districts to bring about district-wide improvements in the quality of instruction in American history and student knowledge of the subject. This intense work on the content and teaching of traditional American history will be extended by on-going connections with historians at the University of Colorado, Denver, a leading research university, as well as and scholars and curators at other local cultural institutions. Among the historical topics covered will be pre-colonial and colonial America, the American Revolution, the U.S. Constitution, and 19th Century history focusing on the "New Nation."

Grantee Name:Pueblo School District No. 60
Project Name:IDEA: Investigating the Democratic Experience in America, Defining Movements and Events, 1607-2007
Project Director:Brenda Krage
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:23,000
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:National Council for History Education, Colorado State University-Pueblo
Topics:Year 1, Colonial Roots of American Democracy (to 1815); Year 2, Democratic Transformation of America (19th Century); Year 3, Democracy for a Changing Society (20th Century)
Methods:Graduate courses, summer institutes

As a result of an increase in minority populations combined with a decline in higher paying and professional jobs, school districts throughout the two regions served by this project have had trouble recruiting qualified teachers for all areas of instruction. This project is designed to impact the quality of American history teaching by elementary and secondary teachers in Pueblo City Schools (D-60) and partner Pueblo School District 70 (D-70), made up of over 70 schools in Southeastern Colorado serving some 23,000 students. K-12 teachers will be targeted from the underserved school systems with reconstituted elementary and middle schools, five middle schools, and eight high schools that have not made Adequate Yearly Progress for the past three years. Participating teachers will utilize and engage in primary research that will enhance and enrich their classroom teaching. The project includes activities that provide these teachers with an opportunity to complete the majority of requirements for the Master of Arts in history at Colorado State University-Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo), a program designed specifically for teachers in public schools. Year 1 of this project will provide training on Colonial America to 1815 and will include subjects such as frontier existence, early slavery, colonial governance, the development of American democracy, and founding documents. Year 2 will cover the 19th Century and will explore the nation's growing party system, Andrew Jackson, the transportation and market revolutions, abolition, Indian removal, and the Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution. Finally, Year 3 will provide content on the 20th Century on topics such as the Progressive Era, the sixteenth through nineteenth constitutional amendments, and women's and civil rights.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008