Teaching American History

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Ohio 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Project Name:History Connections: From the Low Country to the North Coast
Project Director:James Templeman
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:72,000
Grade Levels:Grades 8, 10
Partners:Kenyon College, Research Center for African American History and Culture, the College of Charleston, WVIZ
Topics:Year 1: The Colonial Period (1600-1800); Year 2: The Antebellum Period and Reconstruction (1800-1900); Year 3: The Industrialization and Migration Period (1900-1970)
Methods:Summer institutes, field study, seminars

This project will fill a unique and specific need in the consortium schools in content, pedagogy, and approach: helping urban middle and high school history teachers and their students understand and relate to traditional American history through studying African American history in Northeastern Ohio as an extension of its roots in the South and as a product of northward migration. Providing intense training for a core of American history teachers from the eighth and tenth grades, the consortium will work with its partners in the three-year period to help 90 teachers increase their content knowledge of traditional American history and pedagogical skills focusing on historical thinking. The project will introduce them to 300 years of African American history through primary sources, artifacts of material culture, oral histories, written documents, and field research. The journey from West Africa to the Carolina low country, then to the southern cotton belt, and finally to Ohio's North Coast provides a historical microcosm of 300 years of African American history in North America. Specific content to be studied within the project's three time periods includes the emergence of a black Gullah culture, the actual blending of several West African ethnic groups with white Anglo-Protestant culture, the retention of West African language, arts, and religion into the 20th Century, and the Great Migration.

Grantee Name:Columbus City Schools
Project Name:History Speaks—Not Just Words on Paper
Project Director:Matthew Doran
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:18,000
Grade Levels:Grades 8-12
Partners:Ashland University, Ohio Historical Society, National Constitution Center
Topics:The Constitution and American democratic institutions; social movements and social change; defining American identity; American foreign relations; American economic history; migration and immigration
Methods:Seminars, professional learning teams, summer institutes

"History Speaks" is designed to emphasize important historic eras, primary sources, and biographies key to understanding traditional American history and to guide teachers' content delivery in the classroom. Through rigorous and engaging seminars with highly qualified archivists and historians, monthly teacher-led professional learning team meetings based on document analysis and pedagogy, and an intensive, in-depth summer institute at Ashland University, Columbus teachers will become fluent in using content-rich primary and secondary sources to enhance their own knowledge and construct lessons that foster analytical thinking for the study of history. Preference for selection to the program will be given to those teachers who are from schools in need of improvement or intervention. The content for this project is organized within six themes, which are themselves taken from the six promises stated in the Preamble to the Constitution. Subjects to be studied within these themes include the Constitutional Convention; individuals and diverse groups of Americans who worked to establish justice; isolationism, intervention, cooperation, and statesmanship in the 20th Century; and the interplay of economics with political and social issues.

Grantee Name:Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County
Project Name:Constructing, Consuming, and Conserving America
Project Director:Jennifer Felker
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:25
Number of Students Served:33,750
Grade Levels:Grades 4,8,10
Partners:Cleveland State University, Western Reserve Historical Society
Topics:History of economic systems, working, and technology; politics and social history of consumer activity; role of the environment and attitudes toward it
Methods:Book discussions, public lectures, content workshops, mentoring sessions, summer workshops

More than two out of three students in Cuyahoga County attend schools that the state has identified as requiring additional instructional resources and support. Improving history education in these failing and marginal schools remains a vexing problem and one that this project aims to address through teacher professional development. Each year of the project will include multiple components: book discussions, lectures and workshops, mentoring work sessions, summer workshops with field activities, experiential learning, and technology work sessions. The project provides a range of learning activities intended to provide participants with models of history teaching that are calibrated to different learning styles. This project explores traditional topics across a 250-year span of American political, social, and cultural history through three different thematic lenses, each covered in one of the project's three years. These topics will give teachers a framework for better understanding U.S. history, for connecting those narratives to primary source materials, and for providing breadth and depth to their history teaching. Year 1 will examine the process of building the nation; the paid, unpaid, and forced labor of Americans; and the work of innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Year 2 will examine how Americans have bought, sold, and used goods and how consumer and market activities have shaped and reshaped culture. Finally, Year 3 will explore the ways in which Americans have interacted with their material and physical environments and how they have conceived of frontiers and borders.

Grantee Name:Perry Hocking Education Service Center
Project Name:THINK History
Project Director:Stacia Kuceyeski
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:240,000
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:Ohio Historical Society, Ohio University
Topics:Theme 1: Westward Expansion and the Frontiers; Theme 2: Constitution and Governance; Theme 3: Industrialization
Methods:Seminars, field trips, summer institutes

Each year, 40 teachers will participate in four content-based seminars, a regional field trip, a research day at the Ohio Historical Center Archives/Library, and an intensive week-long summer institute. In each of these activities, teachers will interact with Ohio University faculty and Ohio Historical Society curators and archivists, work with primary sources, and visit historic sites, archives, and museums that explore national, state, and local history. "THINK History" will introduce teachers to national, state, and local history resources, place the resources in historical context, and empower teachers to use them to positively impact student achievement in American history. The project has arranged its content instruction around the themes of Westward Expansion and the frontiers, constitution and governance, and industrialization. Each theme will emphasize (1) the connection of national historical themes to state and local history; (2) national and state founding documents; (3) the actions of individuals in determining the course of the nation's heritage; (4) economic development; (5) infrastructure and industrial development; and (6) population movement and growth.

Grantee Name:Princeton Board of Education
Project Name:America's Journey: Ever Growing Freedom
Project Director:Johanna Moyer
Number of Teachers Served:50
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:21,000
Grade Levels:Grades 4, 5, 8
Partners:Ohio Social Studies Resource Center, Miami University - Hamilton
Topics:Pre-contact Native American history, Colonial era, Revolutionary period, the Constitution, Westward Expansion, the Civil War
Methods:Graduate-level instruction, field study

"Ever Growing Freedom" is a three-year venture among five partners to provide teachers with the content-specific knowledge that they need to enrich student learning about American history. It goes beyond merely presenting history content to teachers and, instead, goes into the classroom to help teachers in three high-need districts bring best practices history instruction directly to their students. History content instruction and enrichment will be targeted at fourth, fifth, and eighth grades, where Ohio state test results show that students need particular help. Under the direction of experienced professors of history from Miami University and select guest presenters, participating teachers will read and discuss a variety of lively primary documents, individual biographies, and respected works by the best historians, which will give them a deeper understanding of the dynamic of liberty and democracy at the center of our nation's experience. The struggle for freedom from oppression, personal liberty, and community advancement in society has long been a vital aspect of the American story and provides a framework for integrating a subsidiary theme into the program: the creation of one, uniquely American people. Content is targeted to the time periods that these teachers focus on in their classrooms and will include field study trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello, Native American frontier sites, and Gettysburg.

Grantee Name:Summit County Educational Service Center
Project Name:Ohio as America
Project Director:Sharon Hays
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:35
Number of Students Served:Information Not Available
Grade Levels:Grades 4, 5, 8, 10
Partners:University of Akron, Ohio Historical Society
Topics:Year 1: Political Democracy; Year 2: America's Multicultural History; Year 3: Technology and Economic Change
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, lesson plan creation

This project brings teachers together with historians, museum professionals and educational experts to create a vibrant community of practice that will build connections to enrich the teaching and learning of U.S. history in the region. The history content of the project will align with both the National Assessment of Educational Progress in U.S. history (NAEP) and the Ohio Academic Content Standards. Training in traditional American history will be combined with immersion in primary source analysis through summer institutes, public history site visits, and seminars. Teachers will also receive training in effective pedagogy that will enable them to produce a standards-based, multi-day lesson plan that is grade-appropriate. These lessons and other resources will be available on a project website to be used by other teachers and in SCESC professional development activities. The content for this project is organized into three thematic sections. Topics within each of these sections include the following: sectional discord over abolition, slavery, and Westward Expansion; the politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction (circa 1850 to 1877); the Ohio presidencies from Rutherford B. Hayes to William McKinley; women's suffrage and Progressive Era reform; Native American history; the National Road; and the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Grantee Name:Western Buckeye Educational Service Center
Project Name:Northwest Partners Educating, Enlivening, and Reviewing Ourselves
Project Director:Christine Feichter
Number of Teachers Served:300
Number of School Districts Served:84
Number of Students Served:168,000
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University, Ohio Historical Society, Ohio Council for the Social Studies, Sauder Village
Topics:The American Revolution, the American Founding, sectionalism and Civil War, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, resource tours

This project is designed to encourage 100 elementary and secondary teachers annually to deepen and broaden their understanding of American history, significantly improve the quality of their American history instruction, increase teacher use of primary source materials, and improve student achievement. To this end, the teachers will participate in a series of intensive institutes and seminars on the most significant events, issues, and turning points in American history. The project's essential question is: How did Westward Expansion shape the meaning of America? Teachers may select specific courses, depending on their particular classroom needs. They will be encouraged to focus on a sequence of courses in American history: "The American Revolution," "The American Founding," "Sectionalism and Civil War," "Civil War and Reconstruction," and "The Progressive Era". Topics covered within these courses include the following: the Declaration of Independence; the Revolutionary War as a military, social, and cultural event in the development of the American nation; the Constitutional Convention; the Lincoln-Douglas debates; and the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.

Grantee Name:Xenia Community Schools
Project Name:The Greene County History Project
Project Director:Joyce Smith
Number of Teachers Served:135
Number of School Districts Served:7
Number of Students Served:Information Not Available
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:Ohio Historical Society, Ashland University
Topics:Constitution and governance, Westward Expansion and growth, industrialization
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars

This project is designed to encourage 45 teachers annually and 135 over a three-year period to deepen and broaden their understanding of American history, significantly improve the quality of their American history instruction, increase teacher use of primary source materials, and improve student achievement. The Greene County History Project will provide teachers with scholarly experiences facilitated by preeminent academic and professional historians who will help participants master content. Teachers will also learn to use new resources, including primary sources from national, state, and local historical societies. The project is organized around three core themes: constitution and governance, Westward Expansion and growth, and industrialization. These core themes will be developed with an emphasis on specific issues including, but not limited to: (1) connecting national historical themes to state and local history; (2) national and state founding documents; (3) actions of individuals in determining the course of our nation's heritage; (4) economic development; (5) infrastructure and industrial development; and (6) population movement and growth.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008