Teaching American History

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Louisiana 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Algiers Charter Schools Association
Project Name:Teaching American History- Teacher Professional Development and Curriculum Development
Project Director:Kevin Guitterrez
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:4,737
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:Our Lady of Holy Cross College, Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, National World War II Museum, Louisiana State Museum
Topics:The American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, the Dred Scott Decision, the Civil War, Reconstruction, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement
Methods:Workshops, site visits

This program will be implemented within the context of an education community that was ravaged in the summer of 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which resulted in a diaspora of the community, fragmentation of the local school system, reorganization of education resources and capacity and upsurge of public charter schools. The goal of this proposal is to raise student literacy and academic achievement through the instruction of traditional American history. School leadership is acutely aware that success is not possible unless they raise teachers' understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of traditional American history through an intensive, on-going professional development program that will help teachers develop and expand their expertise in American history content and provide them with new and innovative teaching strategies. To accomplish the goals of this project, the association will partner with Our Lady of Holy Cross College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and local museums and historic sites. Through a series of three teacher institutes for advanced study in American history, the Algiers Charter Schools will train 60 teachers. The six teacher institutes will focus on the issues, people, ideas, and events in the study of traditional American history, as well as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. History Framework. Course content will explore the following: 1) the Americas, beginnings to 1607; 2) colonization, settlement, and communities (1607-1763); 3) the Revolution and new nation (1763-1815); 4) expansion and reform (1801-1861); 5) Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877); 6) the development of modern America (1865-1920); 7) Modern America and the World Wars (1914-1945); and, 8) contemporary America, 1945-present.

Grantee Name:Lafayette Parish School System
Project Name:Conflict and Resolution
Project Director:Louise Chargois
Number of Teachers Served:200
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:31,399
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:American Institute for History Education, National Council for History Education, University of Louisiana - Lafayette
Topics:Year 1: Revolution and a New Nation (1750 - 1820); Year 2, A Nation Divided (1820 - 1865); Year 3, Reconstruction and War in the West (1865 - 1910)
Methods:Workshops, seminars, field studies, peer discussion groups

Lafayette schools face a number of persistent challenges: academic under-achievement, poverty, substance abuse, and significant achievement gaps that distinguish student subgroups in our schools. Further, all district schools, regardless of economic and demographic profiles, demonstrate high failure rates on state-administered American history achievement tests. During the planning and development stages of the project, administrators and staff identified a number of significant participation and programmatic goals: (1) to expand teacher knowledge, understanding and appreciation of American history; (2) to improve the instruction of traditional American history content; and (3) to increase student interest and achievement in American history as a result of enhanced instruction. This project is designed, in response to numerous research studies that confirm the importance of ongoing, sustained professional development for educators, to provide a multi-year, comprehensive teacher development experience. Each year of the program will highlight a different period in history. Within each time period, historians and experts will work with faculty to study the lives of key individuals, explore social movements and trace the political and social growth of the United States. Course content will explore the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, The Mexican War, Bleeding Kansas and Border Ruffians, The Civil War, Reconstruction, The Indian Wars: 1860-1876, The Indian Wars: 1876-1890, and the Spanish-American War, among other topics.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008