Teaching American History

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Arizona 2010 Grant Abstracts


Grantee Name:

Flagstaff Unified School District #1

Project Name:

Northern Arizona History Academy

Project Director:

Barbara Hickman

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,953

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

70

Number of School Districts Served:

13

Grade Levels:

4-12

Partners:

Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Western History Association/History Day, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services, We the People

Topics:

Learning History by Doing History; From Colonies to the Nation State; Transforming the Moving "West"; Progressive Era to World War II; Cold War to 9/11

Methods:

Content seminars, workshops, field study research, Professional Learning Communities, Lesson Study, online discussions, mentoring, Moodle

This northern Arizona consortium is located in a geographically isolated area. Half the students are minorities — mostly Native Americans — and 44 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The project will offer three-credit elective graduate-level courses that include content seminars, hands-on workshops, field study research, grade-based professional learning communities, lesson study sessions, online discussions and one-on-one mentoring. The courses will be taught at Northern Arizona University over six days during the school year and three days in the summer. The courses will explore pivotal events, people, legislation and judicial cases; the concepts of local, state and national significance; and the intersection of native and national storylines. Teachers may pursue two paths. An intensive 2-year track will help teachers partially complete their master’s degrees in history; in addition to the regular content, these courses will feature 3-day field study trips, online discussions and small group studies. This master's track will involve two cohorts of 15 teachers: Cohort A from summer 2011 to spring 2013, and Cohort B from summer 2013 to spring 2015. Cohort A teachers will be encouraged to continue participating after spring 2013 and serve as teacher leaders with the project and in their schools and districts. In addition, two biannual cohorts of 15 teachers will pursue a less-intensive professional recertification track. The project’s key strategies are the "learn, do, teach" and "local-to-global" approaches that focus on primary sources, historical scholarship, local significance and engaging instructional strategies. Teacher-created lesson plans, activities, annotated primary sources and book critiques will be posted on a Moodle site.

Grantee Name:

Phoenix Union High School District

Project Name:

Teaching American History — Colonial to Centennial: American and Arizona History

Project Director:

Dr. Gerry Petersen

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,000,000

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

30

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

9-12

Partners:

Arizona Historical Society, Arizona State University, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art

Topics:

Year 1: First Americans; Conquest Encounters; Colonial Life; The Revolutionary Period
Year 2: Westward Expansion; Civil War; Late 19th Century
Year 3: Progressive Era and World War I; The 1920s and the Great Depression; World War II; Late 20th Century
Year 4: American and Arizona Biographies
Year 5: Document Study

Methods:

Seminars, field studies, Professional Learning Communities

This Arizona district is extremely diverse, and the large majority of students are first- or second-generation Americans. During the first three years of the project, 30 teachers will attend quarterly reading and conference sessions at Phoenix-area museums, six Professional Learning Community meetings and three summer study trips, including visits to historic sites in Arizona, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York City. They also will attend the National Council for Social Studies Annual Conference. In the final two years, the same 30 teachers will study biographies and primary sources. Teachers will be selected based on their willingness to change the way they teach U.S. history, their existing historical knowledge and their commitment to full participation. Each of the largest high schools will be represented by at least one teacher, who will become a peer coach and trainer for others at the school. The project will emphasize parallel and divergent developments in American and Arizona history, highlighting areas where historians disagree. The teachers and their students also will take part in the Arizona Centennial celebration. The teachers will learn to use primary sources, including texts, art, artifacts and multimedia resources. In addition, they will learn strategies for planning classroom activities and delivering rich content; assigning and scoring student reading and writing projects that align with state and national core standards; and introducing content and materials that integrate the colonial and territorial history of the Southwest, especially Arizona, with the typical scope and sequence of U.S. history courses. A project Web site will house lessons and resources developed by the teachers.


 
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Last Modified: 11/23/2010