Teaching American History

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North Carolina 2009 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Durham Public Schools
Project Name:History LINK: Learning and Integrating New Knowledge
Project Director:Kelli Thomas
Funding:$808,642 over 3 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:90
Number of School Districts Served:2
Grade Levels:10-11
Partners:Duke University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, National Constitution Center, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Topics:Year 1: The Making of the U.S. Constitution
Year 2: The Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II
Year 3: Immigration, Industrialization and Reform: Connections to Today
Methods:Summer institutes, monthly seminars, development of curriculum units

Durham and Franklin County Public Schools in North Carolina are teaming to deliver History LINK, a program of professional development that will target high school history teachers in nine schools that did not achieve Adequate Yearly Progress in 2008. Each year, participating teachers will attend 2-week summer institutes (to consist of a weeklong on-site history experience with a partner institution and a weeklong curriculum design seminar) as well as monthly seminars led by historians. Throughout the year, teachers will develop curriculum units and instructional materials that incorporate primary documents and technology. Up to 90 teachers (three cohorts of 30 teachers) will participate. The instructional emphasis will be on document-based questioning, using online primary sources for historical research, and incorporating interactive technology tools. Program leaders will hold follow-up meetings with teachers to support implementation of curriculum units developed during the program. These units may include teacher-developed virtual field trips, digital documentaries, and technology-facilitated interactions between students and historians.

Grantee Name:Pender County School District
Project Name:Teaching American History in North Carolina
Project Director:Cara Ward
Funding:$1,599,631 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:125
Number of School Districts Served:3
Grade Levels:4-12
Partners:University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, North Carolina Humanities Council, History Teaching Alliance, Pender County Museum, East North Carolina Digital Library
Topics:Year 1: New Beginnings: Colonization (1607-1763), Revolution and the New Nation (1763-1818)
Year 2: Unity and Division: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861), Crisis and the Union: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
Year 3: Old World, New Ways: The Development of Modern America (1865-1920)
Year 4: Democracy in Motion: Modern America and the World Wars (1914-1945)
Year 5: A Global Nation: Contemporary America (1945-present)
Methods:Summer institutes, lecture series, content seminars, pedagogy workshops, Professional Learning Communities

Teaching American History in North Carolina was designed to align with corrective action plans in the Pender, New Brunswick, and New Hanover School Districts in southeastern North Carolina. The project will target the districts’ lowest-performing schools and recruit teachers who have the fewest credentials in history. Five modes of professional development will be offered each year: a lecture series to kick off each year, an intensive series of content seminars hosted at local and regional historical sites and museums, week-long summer institutes that emphasize traditional themes in American history, history-specific pedagogy workshops that convey strategies for scaffolding reading and face-to-face and online participation in professional learning communities. Each year, up to 25 teachers of history in Grades 4-12 will join the project. Incentives will include a stipend that increases when teachers commit to multiple years of participation. Teaching American History in North Carolina will help these teachers tap into the rich history of the state, especially its Cape Fear region, so that they can help students make sense of history by understanding its local manifestations. Master teachers will support the implementation of content literacy strategies as teachers engage students in the process of historical inquiry. The program will result in increased capacity among regional historical institutions to cooperate with local teachers. In addition, curricula, lessons plans, content packets, lecture videos, and other visual media will be made available on a project Web site housed at the History Teaching Alliance at Cape Fear Community College.

Last Modified: 09/10/2009