Teaching American History

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California 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Alameda County Office of Education

Project Name:

Words That Made America 3

Project Director:

Avi Black

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,954

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

30

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

8 and 11

Partners:

California State University, East Bay; Stanford University; National Archives and Records Administration; University of California, Berkeley

Topics:

Year 1: Americans’ National and Personal Freedom
Year 2: American Equality and American Rights
Year 3: American Democracy

Methods:

Lecture series, lesson study, summer institutes, release day sessions, after-school programs, site visits, workshops, mentoring, Web site

Although the county's 18 districts vary in many ways, all have marked socioeconomic, ethnic and linguistic diversity, and some have large achievement gaps. This project builds on two previous Teaching American History projects to expand the community of highly qualified history teachers in the Berkeley, Calif., area. In addition to scholars, historians and instructional specialists, 10 teachers from a previous project will become mentor-leaders and will help to lead events that will include quarterly release day sessions, after-school workshops, weeklong summer institutes, online discussions and lesson study groups. The cadre of 30 teachers will be selected first from the three partnering districts; if slots remain available, teachers from other districts will be welcome to apply for the 3-year program. An additional 60 teachers will be recruited to participate in a "Meet the Scholars" lecture series. The theme of this project is "Re-Seeing American History: Freedom, Equality and Democracy Reconsidered." Project content will focus on interconnections between national rebuilding and social justice movements. Lesson study will be the mainstay of the instructional approach; as teachers are exposed to advanced scholarship around political, economic and sociocultural developments in the nation’s history, they will create, implement and analyze lessons centered on primary sources. This work will be supported by online discussions in a private area of the project Web site; the public area of the site will provide open access to lesson plans, videos and other products. Participants will also be involved in preparing proposals for conference presentations and articles for professional publications.

Grantee Name:

El Rancho Unified School District

Project Name:

California-USA Teaching American History Project

Project Director:

Susanna Smith

Funding for Years 1-3:

$966,999

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

105

Number of School Districts Served:

2

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Huntington-USC, Huntington Library

Topics:

Grades K-8 Cohort: 1492 to Reconstruction, Major Controversies in American History
Grades 9-12 Cohort: Reconstruction to the Present, Major Controversies in American History
Grades K-12 Cohort: 1492 to Reconstruction, Reconstruction to the Present, Major Controversies in American History

Methods:

Summer institutes, coaching, field studies, conferences

Many students in these urbanized southern California districts are not receiving quality American history instruction due largely to lack of teacher content knowledge. This is evident in a survey of potential project participants and in low student performance on standardized tests. The activities will include Saturday and summer institutes at the Huntington Library, during which historians will present in-depth topics and teachers will translate this content into classroom instruction. Teachers also will attend bimonthly after-school sessions to analyze student pre- and posttest results, preview state standards, review student scores on the previous year’s state test, share successful resources, and use a test bank to create pre- and posttests. The project will involve 35 teachers in 2-year intensive courses of study: grades K-8 in Years 1-2, 9-12 in Years 2-3, and K-12 in Years 4-5. In the second year of study, the project will focus on the same themes but from different perspectives — with a particular focus on regional aspects. The project will make connections between U.S. history and California, its region, and its communities. The strategies will emphasize primary sources, journals and other firsthand accounts, art and illustrations, film and music, and field trips to sites where teachers will practice presenting new content to students. The teachers will focus on content-based teaching methods and track student learning using the Response to Intervention system. A history coach will observe and provide each teacher with feedback eight times over the two years. The project will post online various products, including best practices, lessons and materials.

Grantee Name:

Glendale Unified School District

Project Name:

The Evolving West in American History

Project Director:

Joanna Junge

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,962

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

225

Number of School Districts Served:

2

Grade Levels:

3-5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of California-Los Angeles, Autry National Center of the American West, National Archives and Records Administration-Pacific Region

Topics:

Year 1: The Trans-Appalachian West
Year 2: The U.S. Expands to the Pacific in Early 19th-Century History
Year 3: The West and Immigration in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
Year 4: The Post-Civil War West Through Modern Times
Year 5: Who We Are and How We Got Here

Methods:

Workshops, summer institutes, field studies, coaching

Very few teachers in the Burbank and Glendale, California, districts have history degrees, and history professional development has been hard to get. Also, 64 different languages are spoken in these schools, adding another challenge for teachers whose students have little understanding of the nation’s history. Annual activities will include five after-school workshops, a summer institute or workshop, a spring break or summer field trip, 10 hours of one-on-one lesson development and coaching support, and visits to local museum and archive resources.
Cohorts of 25 teachers will participate each year, based on content appropriate to their grade level, with an additional 20 teachers per year having access to workshops and summer institutes. The participants will explore historical turning points, key individuals and founding documents through four interconnected themes: the setting, the stories of the people, the government policies and Western influence on the nation as a whole. Teachers will learn research techniques, use of primary source documents, lesson development and evaluation. Their visits to local and distant sites will help teachers better understand the content they teach. Participants will develop rigorous, standards-based lesson plans to be disseminated through presentations at professional conferences and at special professional development events sponsored by the project. In addition, the project Web site will house model lesson plans, recorded lectures and presentations, and other resources for content and pedagogy.

Grantee Name:

Lake Elsinore Unified School District

Project Name:

Footprints of Freedom ... A Constitutional Lens on American History

Project Director:

Dr. Nancy L. Andrzejczak

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,966

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

50

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of California-Irvine, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Huntington Library, University of California- Riverside, Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Lincoln Shrine, Smiley Library

Topics:

Year 1: Colonization, Settlement and Communities
Year 2: Revolution and the New Nation
Year 3: Crisis of the Union — Civil War and Reconstruction
Year 4: The Development of Modern America and Modern America and the World Wars
Year 5: The Constitution

Methods:

Institutes, seminars, workshops

These southern California districts include low-performing schools with diverse student populations. History teachers in the district have expressed an interest in making constitutional heritage and democratic values more meaningful to students. Each year of the project, teachers will participate in seven days of professional development — including direct interaction with scholars who specialize in topics related to traditional constitutional and presidential history — and at least 16 additional hours of professional development to increase their content knowledge and capacity to provide effective instruction. The annual activities will include a 4-day content institute at a historical archive followed by four meetings using the Scholar Sessions model, which features a lecture/question-and-answer session, an academic reading and discussion session with a scholar, and a content application activity requiring the teachers to demonstrate their subject knowledge. Eighth grade teachers will participate for all five years, while others will attend institutes specific to the subjects they teach. The project will explore four constitutional themes: governance, freedom of religion and expression, due process, and equality. Central themes will focus on the principles of freedom and democracy articulated in the founding documents and historic cases and controversies of the U.S. Supreme Court. Strategies will include building infrastructure through collaborative groups to make U.S. history a high priority in the districts; creating an open education resource Web site; and providing an experimental evaluation to gauge the project's impact on teacher content knowledge, historical thinking skills and capacity to provide effective instruction. Participants will make presentations about the project at national and local forums and submit journal articles for publication.

Grantee Name:

Long Beach Unified School District

Project Name:

Constitutional Communities: The C.O.R.E. of American History

Project Director:

Linda Mehlbrech

Funding for Years 1-3:

$980,580

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

325

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

6-12

Partners:

University of California, Berkeley, Center for the Constitution, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Bill of Rights Institute, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Topics:

Government, Reconstruction, Jacksonian Democracy, States’ Rights, the Constitutio, Election of 1864, Westward Expansion, Supreme Court, Executive Privilege

Methods:

Lesson study, seminars, summer institutes, online learning

This large and diverse California district has a majority of students (70%) eligible for reduced-price meals, and many middle and high school history teachers work outside of their major fields. Each year, the project will offer six after-school seminars and a summer seminar, in addition to lesson study groups. An online professional development component — PD OnDemand — will begin during Year 2; learning sessions recorded during Year 1 will be available, as will teacher-created lessons from Year 1. Two tiers of professional development will be offered: Tier 1 will engage 75 teachers in a 3-year, 200-hour commitment; and Tier 2 will offer online access to events, guest speakers and products to all district history teachers. When the initial Tier 1 group concludes, recently hired teachers will be recruited for Years 4 and 5; some teachers who participated at the Tier 2 level earlier may also join this cadre. C.O.R.E. stands for content, organizations, reflective practice and experiences — the conceptual framework for this project. History content will be aligned with school level, so middle and high school teachers will study topics appropriate to their teaching assignments. Historian-led seminars will focus on key issues and events in American history, as well as ways to deliver instruction that supports higher level student thinking. Ongoing lesson study groups will be led by a specialist and will engage teachers in creating, teaching, observing, reflecting and refining as they develop classroom lessons. These lessons will become part of the PD OnDemand Web site, making classroom-validated resources widely available.

Grantee Name:

Los Angeles Unified School District

Project Name:

Los Angeles Teaching American History Project

Project Director:

Michael Reed

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,998,978

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

315

Number of School Districts Served:

12

Grade Levels:

5, 8, and 11

Partners:

California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach City College, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Center for Civic Education, National Archives and Records Administration-Laguna Nigel Branch, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Richard Nixon Presidential Library, California African American Museum

Topics:

Pre-Columbian North America; European Colonization; the American Revolution; the Mexican War; Civil War and Reconstruction; American Indians; Industrialization, Immigration and the Progressives; World War I; Great Depression; World War II; the Cold War; the Civil Rights Movement; Contemporary America

Methods:

Symposia, workshops, summer institutes, mentoring, lectures

In this district — the nation's second largest — nearly three-fourths of the students qualify for reduced-price meals, and nearly one-third are English language learners. Most of the targeted schools are not meeting adequate yearly progress goals, and none are meeting state performance goals in U.S. history. In addition, budget issues have limited the amount of professional development available for U.S. history teachers in underperforming schools. During the project, teachers will attend (1) nine day-long in-service workshops, featuring content lectures and training in differentiated instruction, student evaluation and the project's core content-related teaching practices; (2) two after-school meetings per month to prepare pretests and posttests for students and examine content and relevant materials; and (3) a 5-day summer institute to study content, review standards, and develop lesson plans and classroom-ready resources and materials. The project staff will visit each teacher’s class four times per year to observe, model lessons, share new materials and provide support. The project will provide more than 250 hours of instruction to nine cohorts of 35 teachers — three  fifth grade cohorts (Years 1 and 2), three eighth grade cohorts (Years 2 and 3) and three eleventh grade cohorts (Years 4 and 5). Over their two years of professional development, the project teachers will read at least 10 books and numerous articles as well as learn to use primary documents, artifacts, first-hand accounts, illustrations and site visits to translate content into classroom lessons. Best practices, lessons and materials will be posted online via three separate Web sites.

Grantee Name:

Mendocino County Office of Education

Project Name:

Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma County Schools Teaching American History

Project Director:

Dr. Nancy E. Rogers-Zegarra

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,000,000

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

70

Number of School Districts Served:

32

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Organization of American Historians, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Temple University, Lake County Office of Education, Sonoma State University, Grace Hudson Museum, Dominican University

Topics:

Year 1: American Frontiers
Year 2: Colonial Communities and Institutions
Year 3: Creation of the American Republic; American Frontiers
Year 4: Colonial Communities and Institutions
Year 5: Creation of the American Republic

Methods:

Lecture and book study series, teacher network, summer institutes, field studies

In these northern California districts, many students do not receive quality American history instruction due primarily to a lack of teacher content knowledge. Each year of the project, teachers will read four historical monographs, attend follow-up workshops, participate in monthly professional learning communities and make presentations to colleagues. An annual 2-week summer institute will feature intensive work with history professors and content literacy specialists and allow teachers to take field trips to historic sites. A historian lecture and book study series will be open to all K-12 teachers in the districts. An additional option will enable some teachers to earn a master's in education, with an emphasis on American history. Each year, participants in the master’s group will read 10 to 12 historical texts, study other important documents, and develop lessons and resources for classroom use while obtaining 18 units of graduate credit. The project will involve two cohorts of 35 fifth grade teachers for three years of professional development (Years 1-3 and Years 3-5). Because the lecture and book study series is open to all teachers, the project expects to serve at least 110 teachers. The content will be presented through lectures, discussions and studies of primary documents to understand and compare different eras and cultures. The teachers will learn how to use cultural artifacts and historical maps, research-based pedagogical strategies, historical thinking and technology. A project Web site will post best practices, lessons and materials. In addition, the teachers will present their products at the annual California Council for Social Science conference.

Grantee Name:

Moorpark Unified School District

Project Name:

History Matters

Project Director:

Larry Jones

Funding for Years 1-3:

$998,946

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

130

Number of School Districts Served:

4

Grade Levels:

5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of California-Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Autry National Center of the American West, Museum of Tolerance

Topics:

Year 1: Beginnings to 1607; Colonization, Settlement, Communities
Year 2: Revolution and the New Nation
Year 3: Expansion and Reform; Civil War and Reconstruction
Year 4: Development of Modern United States
Year 5: Modern America and World Wars; Contemporary United States

Methods:

Book studies, summer institutes, coaching, lectures, field studies

A needs assessment determined that most history teachers in these California districts lack basic knowledge of U.S. history. They also need strategies and tools to help them make the content relevant and compelling for students. Each year, this project will offer four content seminars, three book-study discussion sessions, a 3-day summer institute and a year-end culminating event featuring a distinguished historian. Annual field study experiences will include "doing history" in Los Angeles, Tidewater Virginia through the Revolutionary War, Illinois and Missouri from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, industrial change in New England, and civil rights in the South. Annually, 40 teachers will attend at least 75 percent of the activities and have the option of participating in multiple years. New participants will be recruited to replace teachers who do not continue. The project will explore traditional American history from multiple viewpoints, placing visual art, music and literature in a historical context to add dimension and diverse perspectives. The content of each project year will lead the teachers on a voyage of discovery, where they will use primary sources, become acquainted with well-known historical figures, and gain insights into the development and evolution of the meanings of freedom and "a more perfect union." They will learn to place key events in time, name and analyze founding documents, recognize themes and key concepts in their curricula, demonstrate and teach historical thinking skills, and generally display a more profound level of historical literacy. Many project products will be available on the Web, including teacher-created model lessons, training materials and evaluation tools.

Grantee Name:

Orange County Superintendent of Schools

Project Name:

Understanding American Citizenship

Project Director:

Dr. Deborah Granger

Funding for Years 1-3:

$997,933

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

58

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

6-12

Partners:

University of California-Irvine, Orange County Department of Education, Bowers Museum, Autry National Center, Japanese American National Museum, California Digital Library

Topics:

Year 1: American Citizenship — Of Rights and Liberties
Year 2: Governing Citizenship
Year 3: Claiming Citizenship in America

Methods:

Institutes, field studies, Lesson Study, capstone events, classroom observations

This project will focus on schools that serve continuation, correctional and alternative education students, who tend to be high need and low performing; many in this area south of Los Angeles come from families in poverty. Because teachers at these schools often teach more than one subject, they may lack deep content knowledge and want to learn more about American history. University faculty will provide expertise in content and historical methodologies, and K-12 teachers will lead training in pedagogy at the kick-off institutes and monthly follow-up sessions. Participating project teachers will work together to create a standards-aligned curriculum. The project will include a strong strand of developing teacher leadership and building learning communities. In Year 1, the main cohort will have 24 teachers divided into 12 teams to develop curriculum. These teachers will be joined by 12 additional teachers in each successive year, so each team will have four members during the final year of the project. At the end of each year, a separate cohort of 10 teachers will customize the curriculum developed by the main cohort so it can be used for independent study. The project's underlying theme will be emphasizing the history of American citizenship to develop students' critical thinking and academic literacy and to prepare them to participate in a democratic society. The project will employ lesson study as its main curriculum development and instructional tool, and project leaders will support the process through coaching and mentoring. Lesson plans and other materials will be available on the project's Web site.

Grantee Name:

Saddleback Valley Unified School District

Project Name:

Shaping American History: Conflict, Compromise and Consensus

Project Director:

Dr. Gloria Roelen

Funding for Years 1-3:

$998,659

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

110

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of California - Irvine, California State University - Long Beach

Topics:

Year 1: Early 20th Century Industrialization; 19th and 20th Century Immigration
Year 2: Principles of Colonial Democracy; Market Revolution; Andrew Jackson and Indian Policy
Year 3: Pre-Columbian Societies; European Explorers; Colonial Societies
Year 4: Immigration into the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys; Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806); the Mexican-American War; Slavery and the Antebellum South
Year 5: U.S. Foreign Policy; Roads, Canals and Railways; Post-Civil War Agricultural and Industrial Development; Boom and Bust in 21st Century America

Methods:

Institutes, workshops, Professional Learning Communities, field studies, mentoring, master’s program

Due to the emphasis on language arts and mathematics, this California district has not had a professional development program for history teachers in more than a decade. Each year of the project, teachers will participate in (1) a 7-day institute on content and differentiated instruction; (2) 10 after-school or Saturday learning meetings, including four quarterly reading groups; (3) extended learning opportunities through four professional learning community meetings; (4) field study trips; (5) content/pedagogy mentoring and demonstration lessons to address diverse student needs; (6) a week-long summer institute; and (7) expanded learning through technology. Thirty teachers will have the option of participating in a master's degree program. In addition, two facilitators and 24 teachers who have completed 85 percent of the required hours will be eligible for a week-long study trip to Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington, D.C. In the first three years, the project will offer grade-level professional development on history and pedagogy to three cohorts of U.S. history teachers: 50 elementary, 30 intermediate and 30 high school. In Years 4 and 5, the project will provide 4-day institutes to support continued learning. Through the Professional Learning Communities, the teachers and mentors will review student performance data with a data-analysis model from Response to Intervention. They also will review state standards and the district pacing guide, and create pretests and posttests for the next study unit. The teachers will collaboratively develop curricula with a special focus on document-based writing lessons.

Grantee Name:

San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Project Name:

21st Century Scholars of American History

Project Director:

Angela Dorough

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,987,156

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

150

Number of School Districts Served:

14

Grade Levels:

5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of Riverside, University of Southern California, Claremont College, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, National Archives, Huntington Library, Freedom Underground Railroad Museum, Black Voice Foundation

Topics:

Pre-Columbian North America; Social Life in Colonial America; The Revolution; Articles of Confederation and the Constitution; Development of the New Republic; Westward Expansion; Slavery and the Antebellum South
Industrialization, Immigration, and the Progressives; Postwar United States and the Cold War

Methods:

Symposia, book discussions, Lesson Study, field studies, summer institutes

Located in southeastern California, these districts serve a population that is more than half Hispanic. Nearly one-fourth of students are English language learners, 60 percent qualify for reduced-price meals and nine percent receive special education services. Each year, teachers will participate in nine full-day workshops, six evening book discussions, lesson study training sessions and field study at a local historic site. They will have two summer institute opportunities: (1) 20 teachers will attend a 5-day trip to historic sites; and (2) all teachers can apply to attend a workshop sponsored by an external provider, such as Gilder Lehrman or the National Endowment for the Humanities, and have their costs covered. In addition, networking and discussions will be supported by an online professional learning community. Two separate cohorts of 75 teachers (25 from each grade) will participate in an intensive 2-year program. From each cohort, 30 will be selected to receive another year of history coaching training; these 60 content leaders will provide on-site support to colleagues to sustain the project's impact. Training from historians and education specialists will deepen content knowledge and content-related teaching skills (e.g., using primary sources, thinking maps, source analysis, historiography). In addition, teachers will learn to develop digital documentaries and use student assessment data to guide instruction. This combination of skills and knowledge will enhance capacity to think like historians and to teach American history in engaging, interactive ways. Best practices, lessons and materials will be shared through conference presentations and on three Web sites to reach local, state and national teacher audiences.

Grantee Name:

San Marcos Unified School District

Project Name:

Foundations

Project Director:

Gina Bishop

Funding for Years 1-3:

$822,216

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

228

Number of School Districts Served:

2

Grade Levels:

2-5

Partners:

University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Franklin’s Opus, San Marcos Historical Museum, American Institute for History Education,

Topics:

Year 1: Pre-Columbian Settlements, American Indians, Early Explorers, Atlantic Trade Routes
Year 2: Ideological Roots of Colonial America, Early European Settlers, Slaves From Africa
Year 3: Declaration of Independence, Revolution, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin
Year 4: Constitution and Bill of Rights, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison
Year 5: European Immigrants, Westward Expansion, Mexican-American War

Methods:

Summer workshops, seminars, mentoring

Given a high number of English Language Learners and California's emphasis on English language arts, this project chose an overall focus on integrating history into language arts. For five days in the summer, historians will present history content. For four days during the school year, a history educator and a technology specialist will present teaching strategies and Web 2.0 technologies. Teachers will also work with a university professor to research commercial teaching materials, using CICERO, History Alive! and other materials in their classrooms. They will analyze and review the software, print and online products, including games and simulations, to benefit other history teachers. A core group of 38 teachers — two from each elementary school — will stay through the full five years, spending at least 13 hours a year mentoring a teacher outside the project. In keeping with elementary history standards, the project will address the foundations and founding documents of the United States. Content literacy will be developed by helping teachers build prior knowledge, apply structured note-taking, analyze images and evaluate historical materials. Specific pedagogical approaches will include Binary Paideia and historical thinking skills, and strategies will include bracketing history, E.S.P. (considering the economic, social and political aspects of events), analyzing primary sources and others. This project aims to be on the cutting edge of the "Facebook approach" to teaching American history; that is, it will use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and discussion threads as important communication and dissemination tools. A project Web site will host all lesson plans, reviews of history teaching materials and other products as freely available resources.

Grantee Name:

Shasta County Office of Education

Project Name:

North State History Teachers' Learning Collaborative

Project Director:

Dr. Tom Forbes

Funding for Years 1-3:

$985,658

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

150

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of California-Davis, California State University-Chico, Shasta College, Simpson University

Topics:

Year 1: A New Birth of Freedom — Labor, Land and Community in the Late 19th Century
Year 2: America’s Rise to Globalism
Year 3: The Cold War and the Rights Revolution
Year 4: Seeding Liberty in the American Colonies
Year 5: The Legacy of Our Founding Documents

Methods:

Online seminars, symposia, Lesson Study, summer institutes, field studies

The three rural California counties involved in this project often combine resources to provide teacher professional development, and this project will build teachers’ content knowledge and help them learn to think like historians. Annual activities will include two symposia, during which historians and teachers will explore content, primary sources and lesson study practices. Four live, online seminars will bring scholars and teachers together to discuss historical questions. With support from content experts, teams of like-grade teachers will use lesson study to develop lessons based on the content. The year will end with a summer field study that augments the scholarly studies, and the next year will begin with a late-summer institute focused on scholarship and pedagogy. Each year, 35 teachers will participate, and increasing stipends will encourage multiple years of training. Years 1 to 3 will address eras taught by secondary teachers, and Years 4 and 5 will present content tied to elementary standards, but teachers will be welcome to join as openings are available. Working with teachers of different levels will encourage thinking about cross-grade connections. Teachers will explore California's gateways to the national narrative during field visits to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Historians and scholars will introduce historical thinking skills, such as deconstructing primary sources, and will help teachers see unifying themes in the state's history standards. The project model of blended in-person and online activities is designed to ensure advance preparation and active participation, while directing the focus to improved teaching practice; ongoing formative assessment will help project leaders adjust activities if necessary.

Grantee Name:

Solano County Superintendent of Schools

Project Name:

America on the World Stage in Solano County

Project Director:

Stacey Greer

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,000,000

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

50

Number of School Districts Served:

6

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of California, Davis

Topics:

Year 1: American Colonies
Year 2: Early American History in a Global Context
Year 3: 19th Century America in a Global Context
Year 4: 19th and 20th Century America in a Global Context
Year 5: 20th Century America in a Global Context

Methods:

Seminars, history labs, Lesson Study, summer institutes, conference

This California county is halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, and its population reflects the state’s economic and ethnic diversity. Lack of teacher preparation to teach history is reflected in disappointing student performance. Activities will include four scholar seminars each year; these will provide insight into the history and examine primary source documents. After each seminar, teachers will participate in a history lab to consider how to apply the content in ways that engage students. The Year 1 cadre will include 30 elementary teachers; although they will be encouraged to stay for the full grant period, it is likely that many spaces will open up for middle and high school teachers in Years 2 through 5. Project content will focus on intensive reading of recent scholarship, considering its emphasis on how the United States has always depended on transactions with other nations for ideas, commodities and populations. As teachers learn to use lesson study in Year 1, they will produce one lesson each; thereafter, teachers will work in teams to develop curriculum kits that include a background essay, a multiday historical investigation that requires analysis of primary sources, a student assessment and related rubric, samples of student work, reflection on teaching the lesson and an annotated bibliography. The 10 best lessons each year will be published online and presented at the annual showcase, the 20 best lessons of the project will be presented at its summative conference, and the 30 best presenters among the teachers will go on a study and exchange trip to Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Grantee Name:

West Contra Costa Unified School District

Project Name:

West Contra Costa Unified School District Teaching American History

Project Director:

Natalie Wojinski

Funding for Years 1-3:

$996,368

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

118

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

5, 8, and 11

Partners:

Sonoma State University, Organization of American Historians, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Richmond Museum of History, Rosie the Riveter Home Front National Historical Park, Out of the Box Consultant Services, Temple University

Topics:

Grade 5: Teaching Early American History — Cultures, Communities and the Creation of the American Republic
Grades 8 and 11: Civil Liberties, Civil Rights and a Civil Society — From the Constitution to the Present

Methods:

Summer institutes, historian lecture series, book study, Lesson Study

This district on the northeast corner of the San Francisco Bay area includes five cities and six unincorporated areas. One-third of the ethnically and linguistically diverse students are limited English proficient, and the area faces many social and economic challenges — lack of funding for history professional development being one. Teachers will attend a 10-day summer institute, four days of follow-up activities and a three-part historian lecture and book study series. Ongoing support will happen in online discussions and monthly meetings where teachers will have opportunities to collaborate on lesson study, share resources and discuss problems and successes. Participants will attend the California Council for the Social Studies conferences, where they will learn and present. Two 3-year cohorts of 34 teachers each, one for Grades 8 and 11 and one for Grade 5, will give priority to teachers from underperforming schools. A master's cohort of 15 teachers will pursue the higher degree, and all history teachers will participate in the lecture and book series. As they study the content for the grades they teach, project teachers will be exploring themes that take them deeper into political, cultural and economic turning points and help them understand local connections to national history. Teachers will learn historical inquiry skills and content-related teaching strategies, such as the use of primary documents, artifacts, firsthand accounts, illustrations and site visits — all intended to translate freshly mastered content into classroom lessons. Project-generated materials will be reviewed, shared through meetings and conferences and posted on three Web sites that reach local, state and national audiences.


 
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Last Modified: 11/22/2010