Teaching American History

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California 2009 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:Berryessa Union Elementary School District
Project Name:America's Story: Forging Identity Through E Pluribus Unum
Project Director:William Hanna
Funding:$1,717,661 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:72
Number of School Districts Served:3
Grade Levels:5, 8
Partners:San Jose State University History Department and College of Education, UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Topics:Year 1: Americans Who Have Made a Difference: How Words and Deeds of Individuals Created a Nation Where “All Men Are Created Equal”
Year 2: American Nationhood: How Ideals, Issues, Episodes, and Turning Points Created a “Government of the People”
Year 3: American Journeys: People's Search for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
Year 4: Americans Who Have Made a Difference
Year 5: American Nationhood
Methods:Colloquia, summer institutes, grade-level groups

America's Story: Forging Identity Through E Pluribus Unum (America's Story) involves three urban, K-8 districts in east San Jose, California. Many students in these ethnically diverse schools (40 languages are spoken) are English Language Learners, and teachers want support with history teaching in general and with teaching to English learners specifically. Annual project activities will include both content and academic literacy instruction during four school-year colloquia, a 5-day summer institute, and grade-level groups supporting teachers. The participant cohorts will contain 12 teachers each year; they will be supported by three academic literacy coaches and two teacher advisory team members. America's Story will examine how American identity has developed over time through people's words and deeds, successes and setbacks in nation-building, and immigration and migration. Elements of this theme will be matched with specific state content standards. American history coaches will lead professional development and facilitate lesson creation, using the Backward Design approach for framing lessons and driving student inquiry. Academic literacy teacher facilitators will provide leadership for implementing strategies in the schools, using the UC Berkeley project's academic literacy program, which develops students' reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. The project will result in a collection of teacher-designed instructional units to be posted online, plus information and resources about the project that can be used to replicate the training with other teachers.

Grantee Name:Clovis Unified School District
Project Name:Reflecting on Our Past
Project Director:Rob Darrow
Funding:$999,982 over 3 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:150
Number of School Districts Served:18
Grade Levels:3-5
Partners:California State University-Fresno History Department, California State University-Fresno Kremen School of Education, American Institute for History Education, Fresno Historical Society
Topics:Year 1: The United States Has a Rich Cultural Heritage
Year 2: American Stories and Journeys
Year 3: Voices of the American Revolution
Methods:Colloquia, summer institutes, travel study experiences, certificate program

Fresno County, in the San Joaquin Valley halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, includes many rural areas where teachers have few professional development opportunities and students come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The region's students tend to score below average on the state history test. Reflecting on Our Past offers three components: (1) the Teaching American History certificate program, which will offer teachers opportunities for advanced study to earn a certificate; (2) the colloquium series, with six 2-day events each year that cover both content and pedagogy; and (3) the summer travel study and curriculum history institute, a 5-day, content-driven, scholar-guided event. These components are designed to different levels of complexity, and the colloquia and summer institutes will be organized around each year's topic area. The 50 teachers who participate in the year-long colloquium series will be recruited from the appropriate grade level and from schools with the greatest needs. During the grant period, two cohorts of 15 teachers (30 total) will complete the 2-year certification for teaching American history. The summer travel study and curriculum institute will accommodate 50 teachers, who will be drawn from both groups. Reflecting on Our Past aims to restore American history teaching and learning to the elementary classroom. Teachers will learn about integrating language arts and history instruction, so both receive the classroom time they deserve. Teachers, and then their students, will be able to comprehend and analyze expository history texts, use primary sources, and apply historical thinking skills. The project will produce a cadre of teachers who can assist their colleagues.

Grantee Name:Del Norte Unified School District
Project Name:Wild Rivers Teaching American History Program
Project Director:Steve Godla
Funding:$1,666,491 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:105
Number of School Districts Served:50+
Grade Levels:
Partners:Sonoma State University, Humboldt State University, Del Norte County Historical Society, Siskiyou County Museum, Josephine County Historical Society, Curry County Historical Society, Lake County Museum, Douglas County Museum, Organization of American Historians, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Plimoth Plantation, Center for Civic Education, National Archives and Records Administration-Pacific Region
Topics:Cohort 1, Elementary: Beginnings: The New Nation
Cohort 2, Middle: Expansion and Reform, World War I
Cohort 3, High: The Modern Era and Contemporary America
Combined Cohorts: Curriculum Development and Project Sustainability
Methods:Workshops, study trips, readings, Professional Learning Communities

The six rural counties—three in northwestern California and three in southwestern Oregon—involved in the Wild Rivers Program have many American Indian students and many low-performing schools. To help teachers build their knowledge and skills, the project will offer each cohort 150 hours of professional development, consisting of eight Saturday workshops, two Friday workshops, a 7-day summer study trip, a 3-day archives study trip, a 2-day literature camp, and a 2-day summer curriculum workshop. The final semester, when all cohorts come together, is designed to build collaboration, curriculum, and sustainability. Three cohorts of 35 teachers, each participating for three semesters and all participating in the final semester, will be organized as follows: Cohort 1 will consist of elementary teachers, Cohort 2 of middle school teachers, and Cohort 3 of high school teachers. To make American history more engaging and relevant to Wild Rivers Program students, the project will connect American history with American Indian history and incorporate American Indian case studies. A rigorous schedule of graduate-level lectures, discussions, and book studies will introduce content and support exploration of classroom strategies. Study trips to archives and historical sites will introduce primary documents and research strategies. As teachers focus on blending academic understanding of history with good teaching practices, they will build connections within their groups and between themselves and the historians working with the project: this learning community will help sustain the project's work after the grant ends. The instructional units teachers create during the project will be made available to all teachers in the region.

Grantee Name:East Side Union High School District
Project Name:The East Side Teaching American History Project
Project Director:Robert Ibarra
Funding:$995,514 over 3 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:75
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:High school
Partners:San Jose State University, Teachers Curriculum Institute
Topics:Year 1: Rise of democracy; origins of the Revolution; the Constitution; the rise of large urban cities; social Darwinism and the Social Gospel movements; activities of the Progressives
Year 2: Dust Bowl migration; the New Deal and its impact on American people; Japanese American internment camps; minorities in World War II; the home front during WWII
Year 3: Military alliances during the Cold War; the end and aftermath of the Cold War; terrorism in the modern world; the Supreme Court in the Civil Rights Movement; civil rights advocates; the role of lawyers and advocates in obtaining civil rights
Methods:Seminars, book studies, summer institutes, field studies

This large district in the San Francisco Bay area has 11 high schools, six of which are in improvement. Only 35 percent of high school students tested at or above proficient in American history in 2007, and about half of the students speak a primary language other than English at home. The East Side Teaching American History Project will present six content seminars each year. To make them accessible to teachers, seminars will be presented once in the northern part of the district and once in the southern part. Additional activities will include a 5-day summer institute focused on pedagogy, strategies, and lesson plans; a 1-day summer field study at a local historical site; and two history book studies. An annual cohort of 33 teachers will participate, with some staying for more than a year. The project goal is to achieve systemic change, making American history a viable and relevant subject. During summer institutes, teachers will learn how to present the content studied during the seminars. Methods will include using research-based frameworks and adapting lessons to different learning styles and for English Language Learners. Approaches will include increasing empathy for events and figures in history, using multiple perspectives to teach the same event, and using stories to bring home the personal impact of events. A portion of institute time will be dedicated to developing lesson plans. Each year, every participating teacher will create at least two new lesson plans, which will be available for all high school history teachers to use in their classrooms.

Grantee Name:Elk Grove Unified School District
Project Name:American Citizen: A Study of Liberty and Rights
Project Director:Don Azevada
Funding:$1,792,170 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:116-200
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:5-12
Partners:California State University, Sacramento; National Archives and Records Administration; Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; Out of the Box Consultants; Constitutional Rights Foundation; Document Based Question Project; California Museum of History, Women, and the Arts
Topics:Colonization, Settlement and Communities (1607-1763); The Revolution and the New Nation (1763-1815); Expansion and Reform (1801-1861); Crisis and the Union: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877); The Development of Modern America (1865-1920); Modern America and the World Wars (1914-1945); Contemporary America (1945-present)
Methods:Colloquia/summer institute series, graduate-level courses, scholarly lectures, book studies, workshop series, collaborative unit development, Professional Learning Communities

The Elk Grove Unified School District serves culturally, ethnically, linguistically, and economically diverse students in southern Sacramento County and Elk Grove. Twelve of its 22 secondary schools are not achieving Adequate Yearly Progress, and on the California Standards Test, 48 percent to 68 percent of eighth and eleventh-graders score below “proficient” on questions related to American history. Teachers who participate in American Citizen: A Study of Liberty and Rights (American Citizen) in Years 1-3 will take one or more professional development pathways: Mastering History (an intensive, 2½-year master's degree program in history that includes evening and weekend classes and reading seminars); Talking History (an annual series of six scholarly lectures, including two book studies); Doing History (four 2-day workshops); and Living History (four 2-day colloquia, a week-long summer institute at a historic site, and collaboratively developed units). In Years 1-3, 16 teachers will participate in the master's degree program, 50 in Talking History, and 25 each in Doing History and Living History. In Years 4-5, American Citizen will expand its reach through district-wide extension activities: a learning collaborative, monthly professional development trainings led by master teachers, participation in National History Day, continuation of Talking History and Living History programs, and possibly a master's degree program for a second cohort. The unifying theme will be the liberty and rights of the American citizen. Teachers will learn strategies for differentiated instruction, primary source analysis, historical writing, historical inquiry, document-based questioning, and the effective use of biography and multimedia. A program Web site will publish lesson plans and enable history teachers to share ideas for improving instruction.

Grantee Name:Fresno County Office of Education
Project Name:The Liberty for All Fellowship
Project Director:Sue Baloian
Funding:$3,284,259 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:60
Number of School Districts Served:5
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Franklin's Opus: The American Institute for History Education, The Bill of Rights Institute, The Fresno Historical Society, Fresno Pacific University, Colonial Williamsburg
Topics:Year 1: The Empire vs. the Colonies
Year 2: From Unity to Division: The Agrarian South and the Industrial North
Year 3: From Division to Unity: War, Reconstruction, and World Power
Years 4-5: Liberal Democracy vs. Totalitarianism
Methods:Summer institutes, workshops, colloquia, field-study trips, Talking History Webinars, book clubs, Wiki, technology-enabled real-time lesson observations and reviews, intensive field work for designated master teachers

Led by the Fresno County Office of Education, a five-county consortium in central California will target schools most in need of improvement for participation in The Liberty for All Fellowship. Nearly a third of these schools have not achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for multiple years, with nearly a tenth undergoing restructuring and four percent of history teachers teaching with emergency or intern credentials. Fellows will have access to at least 18 days of professional development each year: a 2-day fall colloquium, a 1-day fall field study, a 2-day winter colloquium, a 2-day spring workshop, a 1-day spring field study, a 5-day summer institute, a 5-day field study trip, and face-to-face and online history book club meetings. Additional activities will be open to all teachers in the consortium; some activities are for master teachers. During Year 1, services will be provided to 35 fellows, including 5 master teachers who will deliver turnkey trainings; additional teachers will be added in subsequent years. Fellows will research and study the political, economic, legal, social, and ideological contrasts found throughout American history. Classroom instruction will incorporate reading strategies, Binary Paideia teaching strategies for helping students analyze history, and resources from CICERO. ThereNow's IRIS (a sophisticated Webcam-like system) will allow coaches and peers to give feedback to teachers as they deliver lessons. Video recordings of workshops and teacher-produced historical narratives, lessons, and activities will be posted online.

Grantee Name:Moorpark Unified School District
Project Name:ALL Americans Project
Project Director:Linda Hussey
Funding:$1,691,483 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:300
Number of School Districts Served:4
Grade Levels:5, 8
Partners:California State University, Northridge; Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Topics:Year 1: Beginning of the Nation to the Mexican Revolution
Year 2: Colonization to Westward Movement
Year 3: Revolution to World War I
Year 4: Civil War to 1920
Year 5: World War I to Present
Methods:Content seminars, pedagogy and technology workshops, book and film clubs, summer institutes, coaching, field studies

The ALL Americans districts are on the California coast near Los Angeles. Across the districts, 8th grade student achievement in history is low, especially among Hispanic students and English Language Learners, who are 48 percent and 26 percent of the student population, respectively. Each year's activities will include nine seminar/workshop events (content, pedagogy, book/film club), several hours of individual coaching, and a summer institute with a field study trip. Teachers will be recruited to participate as fellows (40 per year), who commit to regular attendance, and associates (20 per year), who attend on an event-by-event basis. Fellows apply annually and may stay for more than one year. Within its theme, the project will help teachers examine American history through the lens of immigration and internal migration, looking at the interactions of peoples, cultures, and ideas. In response to teacher-defined needs, the project will present content related to immigrants in U.S. history; Mexican-American and California history; and the basics of significant documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Teachers defined three areas of pedagogical needs: improving student engagement, closing the achievement gap, and making the curriculum accessible to English learners. Strategies to support these needs will include training on affirming different cultures in the classroom; using Marzano's Classroom Instruction That Works; and using digital pictures, video, audio, and text to integrate into multimedia classroom presentations. At the end of each year, teachers will share multimedia presentations, units, and lessons on the project Web site.

Grantee Name:Morgan Hill Unified School District
Project Name:Equity: Perspectives on the American Journey
Project Director:Dan Ehrler
Funding:$1,662,966 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:50
Number of School Districts Served:4
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:Santa Clara University, Gavilan College, San Jose State University, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Stanford Research Institute International, Gilroy Historical Society, Morgan Hill Historical Society
Topics:Year 1: Political History: Toward a More Perfect Union
Year 2: Economic History: Risk-Taking, Responsibility, and Self-Reliance
Year 3: Social/Cultural History: Liberty's Promise
Year 4: Foreign Policy & Global Interaction: The Empire of Liberty
Year 5: Heroes & Landmarks: In Extraordinary Times, There Are No Ordinary People
Methods:Workshops, summer academies, study groups, mentoring, book studies, field studies

Eighteen schools in four districts on the central California coast have been identified as in need of improvement. Many teachers in this multi-ethnic region have said they need more support for teaching American history. The Equity project will provide support in the form of workshops, study groups that meet in person and online, mentoring, book studies, and summer academies that include field studies at local, regional, and national historic sites. Historians and master teachers will lead sessions and field trips, and teachers will identify and gather classroom resources as part of the activities. The project cohort of 50 teachers will blend grades and school levels, with the aim of giving teachers a vertical perspective and within and cross-grade interactions. The Equity project theme of exploring history in a scholarly way will be reinforced by contacts with professional historians throughout the 5-year project. Content will be selected to meet the needs of elementary and middle school teachers, who want chronological surveys of content, and the needs of high school teachers, who want in-depth exploration of specific topics. Content will include findings from current research, primary source analysis, and review of historiographic issues. Instructional strategies will focus on how to design inquiry-based instructional activities that incorporate primary sources, help students build context or background knowledge, and make connections to the present, as well as integrate multiple perspectives. Equity teachers will develop lesson plans and compile classroom resources to help them create rich learning environments and to share with other teachers on the project Web site.

Grantee Name:Mount Diablo Unified School District
Project Name:American Democracy in Word and Deed
Project Director:Donna Leary
Funding:$1,666,560 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:100
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:4, 5, 8, 11
Partners:University of California, Berkeley History Department; University of California, Berkeley History-Social Science Project, Oakland Museum of California
Topics:Cohort One
Year 1: A Focus on America's Political History
Year 2: A Focus on America's Economic History
Year 3: A Focus on America's Cultural and Intellectual History
Cohort Two
Year 4: A Focus on America's Political History
Year 5: A Focus on America's Economic History
Methods:Colloquia, summer institutes, Lesson Study

This suburban district, east of San Francisco and Oakland, has high percentages of schools not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress standards. Nearly 20 percent of students are English Language lLearners, and state history-social science test results show 30 percent of 8th grade students and 28 percent of 11th grade students scoring below basic. Each year, American Democracy in Word and Deed will have professional historians, scholars, and educators lead four 2-hour afterschool colloquia, a weeklong summer institute and four daylong colloquia. Activities will include discussions, lectures, and opportunities to develop, teach, evaluate, and revise a lesson each year. Two cohorts, each with 25 teachers from Grades 4 and 5 (early American history) and 25 teachers from grades 8 and 11 (19th- and 20th-century American history), will participate for either two or three years. The project's theme will focus on the words and deeds that gave birth to, nurtured, and tested democracy in American history. Teacher interaction and engagement with content experts will be aimed at helping teachers develop enthusiasm, creativity, and confidence around content knowledge, historical thinking skills, and discipline-specific approaches to reading and writing. The practice of Lesson Study will help teachers become more collaborative, reflective, and effective in their classroom instruction. Each year, every teacher will create and refine a lesson, so the project will produce a collection of activities to share with history district-wide teachers.

Grantee Name:New Heights Charter School
Project Name:Understanding American History
Project Director:Elaine McNeil-Girmai
Funding:$845,633 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:30
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:K-8
Partners:Constitutional Rights Foundation, Autry National Center, Skirball Cultural Center, Japanese American Museum, California African American Museum
Topics:Years 1-3: Beginning to 1607, Crisis and the Union: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
Years 4-5: The Development of Modern America (1865-1920), Contemporary America (1945-present)
Methods:After-school seminars, annual museum visits, collaborative unit design work

New Heights Charter School and four other schools in the K-8 Charter Consortium, including two that have not achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for 3 years, serve more than 1,500 students in Los Angeles. Understanding American History will guide history teachers in these schools through activities that increase their pedagogical content knowledge, including after-school seminars and museum visits. Teachers will also pilot lessons and units of study in teacher cohort classrooms and use the Tuning Protocol to reflect on the units and refine them in grade-level teams. Recruitment of participants will focus on teachers with multiple subject credentials who teach American history content; 30 teachers will participate (starting with 24 in Year 1, with three more added in Year 2 and another three in Year 3). Teachers will explore significant turning points in American history and the role of individuals as viewed through the lens of core principles set forth in the nation's founding documents that have shaped America's social, political, and legal institutions. Teachers will employ the instructional strategies outlined by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in Understanding by Design as they design units of study that address “enduring understandings” in American history. Teachers will design 25 American history units of study that motivate students and support English language learning; share what they learn with members of the California Charter Schools Association; and make exemplary units and support materials available online to the larger teaching community.

Grantee Name:Northern Humboldt Union High School District
Project Name:Northern California Teaching American History Program
Project Director:Jack Bareilles
Funding:$1,666,164 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:140
Number of School Districts Served:15+
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11, 12
Partners:Humboldt State University, Organization of American Historians, U.S. Department of State's Office of the Historian, Center for Civic Education, Humboldt County Historical Society, Trinity County Historical Society
Topics:1st Peoples to the End of the American Revolution; Constitution and the Early Republic, 1783-1815; Expansion, Slavery, the Mexican-American War and the 1850s; the Civil War, the Gilded Age, and American Imperialism; Progressivism, World War I, and World War II; the Cold War, Civil Rights, and Foreign Policy
Methods:Afterschool workshops, readings, graduate courses, grade-level curriculum development groups, study trips

In these remote northwestern California districts, nearly three fourths of 8th and 11th grade students scored at or below basic on the 2007 statewide U.S. History test. Substance abuse, juvenile crime, and violence are common, and teachers face great challenges in engaging students in academics. This project will help teachers develop their pedagogical skills and content knowledge through a variety of annual activities: four evening book discussions, two weekday workshops, two Saturday workshops, two Constitutional workshops, 20 afterschool workshops, and a variety of summer activities. Participants can join one of two cohorts—the master's program, or MA cohort, or the professional development, PD cohort. Of 70 participants in Years 1-3, half will enter the MA cohort and half the PD cohort; in Years 4-5, another 70 teachers will complete the same program. In addition, 10 preservice teachers will join the activities each year. The MA cohort will pursue a content-dominated program of graduate courses, and the PD cohort will balance pedagogy with content; however, both groups will pay attention to classroom instruction. For example, MA teachers will be required to create and demonstrate teaching “hooks—quick ways to introduce a topic by using a visual element and a primary source document. In the PD cohort, curriculum groups will develop, test, and edit at least two projects oractivities a year: these might be Web-based activities, field trips, classroom-ready differentiated instruction, or lessons that integrate California history into U.S. history. To make the professional development available to as many teachers as possible, the 20 afterschool workshops will be held at 10 different low-performing schools.

Grantee Name:Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
Project Name:The Promise of Democracy
Project Director:Ann O'Roarke
Funding:$1,679,951 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:128
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:California State University Fullerton History Department, Oral History Center, Social Science Research Center, Project FIRST, Bill of Rights Institute, Richard M. Nixon Library and Museum, Orange County Department of Education
Topics:Year 1: Alternative Views of the Promise of Democracy
Year 2: The Promise of Democracy: Are We Moving in the Right Direction?
Year 3: The Promise of Democracy: Defining Moments
Year 4: The Promise of Democracy: America's Challenges
Year 5: The Promise of Democracy: National and Global Challenges
Methods:Kick-off institute, summer institutes with travel-study tours, seminars, technology sessions, vertical alignment sessions, special interest group sessions, leadership development sessions, mentoring, showcase conference

The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District is within Orange County, California. It includes three Title I schools that are in program improvement status, and those schools are targeted for services through The Promise of Democracy. Following a kick-off and recruitment event, selected teachers from across the district will participate in a range of professional development offerings: four 2-week summer institutes with travel-study tours, three 2-day seminars each year, a 4-day Technology as a Tool for Historians session for each participant, two vertical alignment sessions each year, evolving special interest group sessions, and training in cognitive coaching and mentoring for a team of 15 teacher leaders. The summer institute/travel-study tours will be open to 30 of the 128 participants, and the teacher-leader team will be selected from that group. The Promise of Democracy will explore how well America has realized the promise of democracy as it has evolved over time and will emphasize what students must know to be active and responsible citizens in an era of change. Teachers will learn to develop students' historical thinking and writing skills through the use of document-based questioning, expository reading strategies, simulations, debates, role-playing, and technology integration, with special attention to effective strategies for English Language Learners, special education students, and students in alternative education settings. The Promise of Democracy will establish a scope and sequence for history as a separate subject in Grade 5. A culminating countywide showcase conference will feature distribution of lesson materials and presentations of teacher-developed lessons across grade levels.

Grantee Name:Placer County Office of Education
Project Name:Our Dynamic Nation: America on the Move
Project Director:Roni J. Jones
Funding:$1,663,522 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:47
Number of School Districts Served:18
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:California State University, Sacramento, Sierra College, National Archives at San Bruno, California Museum, New York Historical Society, Ellis Island National Park, Angel Island State Park, Cesar Chavez Center, Manzanar National Park, Autry National Center for the American West
Topics:Years 1 and 2: The Expanding Nation
Year 2: Becoming Americans: Immigration, Migration, and Freedom
Year 3: American Citizenship: Courage and Contradiction
Year 4: Workshop of Liberty: Democracy's Promise
Methods:Outreach workshops, History Leadership Community seminars, summer institutes, spring and fall seminars, field experiences, lesson study workshops

Placer County, located northeast of Sacramento, California, includes diverse rural and suburban schools that are spread over a large and varied geographic area. Its underperforming schools serve many English Language Learners, Hispanic students, and economically disadvantaged students, and achievement among these subgroups is up to 40 percent lower in history-social science than that of other students in the county. The first two years of Our Dynamic Nation will focus on building a History Leadership Community who will recruit, train, and support fellow history teachers. Ten teachers (Year 1) and 12 more (Year 2) will attend 4-day summer seminars and 2-day spring and fall seminars to learn historical content and leadership skills. In turn, they will present outreach workshops to recruit 25 teachers, who will join five teacher-leaders for 8-day summer institutes (which include field studies) and four Lesson Study workshops each year. Participating teachers will gain insight into the complexities of American history through the study of key issues, episodes, and turning points and the impact of U.S. social, political, and legal institutions. They will learn to foster historical habits of mind and strengthen students' ability to understand and interpret primary source documents by using graphic organizers, questioning techniques, essay writing, group work, and other teaching strategies. Our Dynamic Nation will produce a cadre of teacher-leaders who will share exemplary lesson plans, provide professional development, and sustain a professional network among Placer County's American history teachers.

Grantee Name:Pomona Unified School District
Project Name:Pomona Project
Project Director:Delbert Duckins
Funding:$896,709 over 3 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:50
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:Pitzer College, Pomona College, McKenna College, Scripps College, Claremont Graduate University, National Archives and Records Administration, Museum of the American West, Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Huntington Library, Honnold Library, Historical Society of Pomona Valley, Norman F. Feldheym Central Library, American Local History Network for San Bernardino, Historical Society of Southern California
Topics:Year 1: The 18th Century
Year 2: The 19th Century
Year 3: The 20th Century
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, research sessions, pedagogy workshops, travel study tours, coaching sessions

The Pomona Unified School District in Los Angeles County serves a large population of English Language Learners who perform significantly below the state average in American history and English language arts. The district has been designated for program improvement. Each year of professional development provided through the Pomona Project will begin with a 40-hour summer institute that includes training in California state American history standards. During follow-up seminars in the fall, winter, and spring, teachers will research local history at various partner sites. They will receive regular coaching on instructional strategies specific to the needs of English Language Learners. The program will culminate with a study tour of key historical sites on the East Coast. A single cohort of 50 teachers will participate throughout all three years of the program. Although most teachers will participate in all program activities (Track 1), they may elect to participate in Track 2 (all activities except the seminars) or Track 3 (all activities except for the summer institute). The thematic focus will be on the connection between local and national historical events and social, economic, and political trends. Teachers will receive instruction and support in implementing differentiated instruction and Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE). Lesson plans and resources developed through the Pomona Project will be disseminated through a Web site, and some SDIAE resources will be sent directly to teachers throughout the district. Participating teachers will become teacher-leaders who continue to develop curricula and present at local and national conferences after the grant has ended.

Grantee Name:Sacramento City Unified School District
Project Name:Legacies of Liberty: Increasing the Effectiveness of American History Instruction in the Sacramento City Unified School District
Project Director:Pamela Tindall
Funding:$1,744,593 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:60
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:4, 5, 8, 11
Partners:The History Project at the University of California, Davis
Topics:Year 1: Seeding Liberty in the American Colonies
Year 2: The Legacy of Our Founding Documents
Year 3: A New Birth of Freedom: Labor, Land, and Community in the Late 19th Century
Year 4: America's Rise to Globalism
Year 5: The Cold War and the Rights Revolution, Contemporary America
Methods:Seminars, labs, field studies, readings

Sacramento City, an urban district with a diverse population, has 31 low-performing schools. Across the district, history gets an average of 12 instructional minutes per day, and only 35 percent of 8th graders and 33 percent of 11th graders achieve at proficient or better on the state's American history test. Legacies of Liberty will present 50 hours of annual professional development in four supper seminars, three history labs, Lesson Study sessions, and a research visit to a historical site. Based on a recruitment plan shaped by state standards and school needs, the first cohort will include 30 elementary and middle teachers who will be encouraged to complete Years 1-3; Years 4-5 will focus on high school content. As teachers work toward maximizing the instructional potential of time devoted to history, they will get support in supper seminars delivered by academic historians and teacher-leaders who will review state standards, present content on a topic included in the standards, then distribute and discuss lesson plans focused on that topic. The sessions will also model how historians use primary and secondary sources in teaching and research. History labs will explore practical ways to bring content and the discipline of history into the classroom, and Lesson Study sessions will help teachers better understand how to craft a lesson as they work in groups to create new instructional units. The learning from these settings will be augmented by authentic research during the summer field experience. Legacies of Liberty teachers will develop a collection of standards-based, tested instructional units for use by all history teachers.

Grantee Name:San Diego County Office of Education
Project Name:American History in the Schools
Project Director:Laurie Mosier
Funding:$1,999,179 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:175
Number of School Districts Served:42
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:California State University, San Marcos, University of San Diego, Constitutional Rights Foundation
Topics:Origins of Citizenship, Shaping a Nation, Democracy and Diversity, Economic Opportunity and Equality, Policies for the Land and the People
Methods:Summer institutes, online and face-to-face seminars, Professional Learning Communities

The California budget crisis and an increase in English Language Learners make American History in the Schools (HITS) important in a region where more than half of students performed below proficient on recent state history tests. This project will provide 16 days of intensive professional development, including a 10-day summer institute and six 1-day sessions during the school year. Annual cohorts of 35 teachers from all grade levels will attend the summer institute then split into two tiers, both of which will focus on continuous improvement. Tier 1 aims to build a strong history foundation for teachers with five or fewer years of experience and Tier 2 offers a history apprenticeship in which experienced teachers can explore innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Tier 1 will include two content sessions, four Professional Learning Communities sessions and development of an authentic lesson resource. Tier 2 teachers will work with staff and university faculty to build the learning community, transfer content knowledge into practice, observe effective delivery of history content, and participate in interactive online sessions. Classroom approaches will include focusing on the public memory of key events, discussing geographic and policy-related expansions in terms of frontiers and borders, considering how diversity is reflected in sports and culture, looking at the economic thinking and actions of ordinary Americans, and observing government use of power and government's role in regulating practices and commodities. The project aims to build capacity through Professional Learning Communities supported by the American HITS Web portal, which will house content, resources, classroom examples, activities, and active collaboration media.

Grantee Name:San Joaquin County Office of Education
Project Name:One Nation: Many Faiths—How Ideas of Religious Liberty Shaped America
Project Director:Margaret Ann Hill
Funding:$1,333,000 over 4 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:75-105
Number of School Districts Served:75
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:First Amendment Center, California State University, San Bernadino, Constitutional Rights Foundation
Topics:The European Conquest and Settlement of America, Native American Spirituality, Religion in Colonial America, The Great Awakening, African and African American Spiritual Beliefs, Separation of Church and State, Religion's Influence in 19th- and 20th-Century Society and Government, Minority Religions, First Amendment Freedoms
Methods:Summer institutes, face-to-face and online sessions, online networking, lesson development, turnkey training

One Nation: Many Faiths is being implemented in California through County Offices of Education in San Joaquin, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. These areas serve religiously and ethnically diverse populations and include 155 low-performing schools. Selected teachers with one to five years of experience who work in these schools will participate in two week-long summer institutes that incorporate content and pedagogy sessions, attend four face-to-face and online follow-up sessions during the school year, engage in electronic meetings and online networking, implement four lessons from We the People, develop lessons, write in reflective journals, and present at a symposium. The program will serve three cohorts of 25 to 35 teachers, and each cohort will participate in all activities for 18 months. These teachers will, in turn, present what they learn to colleagues at their schools and become part of an established network of teacher leaders through the California Three Rs Project. The thematic focus will be on the foundations and evolution of freedom of conscience in America and the role of religion in the social and political history of the United States. Teachers will learn about research-based instructional strategies for improving students' engagement, comprehension, and critical thinking. These strategies include simulations, debates, open-ended discussion, document-based writing, content reading, strategies for dealing with controversial issues, and sheltered instructional techniques that provide scaffolding for English Language Learners. A program Web site will house examples of appropriate content and effective pedagogy as well as teacher-developed lesson materials.

Grantee Name:San Juan Unified School District
Project Name:Igniting Freedom's Flame: Lesson Studies in Teaching American History
Project Director:Judy Smith
Funding:$978,901 over 3 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:72
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:4, 5, 8
Partners:The History Project at University of California, Davis, California State University, Sacramento, Los Rios Community College District
Topics:Year 1: Seeding Liberty in the American Colonies
Year 2: The Legacy of Our Founding Documents
Year 3: A New Birth of Freedom: Labor, Land, and Community in the Late 19th Century
Methods:Seminars, Professional Learning Communities, summer field studies

This California district is in its first year of improvement and several of its schools have not made Adequate Yearly Progress for two or more years. The number of English Language Learners has been increasing steadily in recent years. Igniting Freedom's Flame: Lesson Studies in Teaching American History (Igniting Freedom's Flame) will present an annual program of four supper seminars, eight Professional Learning Communities meetings, and summer field studies at a national historic site. Each year, 24 teachers will participate and be encouraged to continue for multiple years. Recruiting teachers from all three grades in each cohort will help participants see their content within a broader context. Project leaders will also recruit school administrators to build systemic support for history professional development. This aligns with the theme of seeing history as a literate discipline that depends on and fosters close reading, critical thinking, and clear writing—skills that support students across the curriculum. Historians will discuss both content and process standards to help teachers understand discipline-specific thinking. Teacher-leaders will model lessons that use primary sources and disciplinary thinking. The robust Professional Learning Community component will create groups of four same-grade teachers, one historian, and one or two teacher-leaders. These small groups will use Lesson Study to examine student work, develop and observe lessons, and critique and refine the lessons. Practice with differentiating instruction will be incorporated into this work. Igniting Freedom's Flame will produce a collection of tested history lessons and a cadre of teachers who can collaborate with their colleagues to improve history instruction.

Grantee Name:Tulare County Office of Education
Project Name:Developing Freedom in America
Project Director:Nancy Jean McTygue
Funding:$1,674,581 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:100
Number of School Districts Served:46
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:Statewide Office of the California History-Social Science Project, University of California, University of the Pacific, College of the Sequoias, California State University
Topics:Years 1 and 3: The Political Meaning of Freedom
Years 2 and 4: Developing Economic Freedom
Years 3 and 5: Evolving Civic Freedoms
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, Lesson Study, coaching, online Professional Learning Community

Tulare County is located in California's mostly rural Central Valley, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Developing Freedom in America will target U.S. history teachers in 46 school districts identified as needing intervention. These districts serve significant numbers of English Language Learners. Each year will feature a 5-day summer institute that includes interactions with historians, guided research in primary sources, and curriculum development; two in-service seminars that integrate literacy and content development; and an online community that features guided discussions, Lesson Study, and peer review. Within these professional development settings, pairs of teachers will design, teach, and refine units of study aligned with state standards in U.S. history, with support from a university historian and graduate students. Developing Freedom in America will serve two teacher cohorts of 50 teachers each, with each cohort participating for three years. Participating teachers will connect local and national history as they examine the nation's founding principles of freedom and democracy and America's ongoing struggles, setbacks, and achievements in realizing those principles. They will learn about research-based instructional strategies for improving students' reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, with an emphasis on addressing the literacy challenges presented by primary and secondary documents, especially for English Language Learners. The program will establish a process for collaborative lesson design, an online archive of classroom-tested lesson plans and resources, and a network of American history teaching professionals to support geographically isolated colleagues within the county.


 
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Last Modified: 09/10/2009