Teaching American History

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Kansas 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

ESSDACK

Project Name:

A Century of Progress: Thinking Historically Through the 1800s

Project Director:

Terry Fehrenbach

Funding for Years 1-3:

$943,418

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

40

Number of School Districts Served:

25

Grade Levels:

6-8

Partners:

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Washburn University, National Archives and Records Administration-Central Plains Region, Kansas Council for History Education, Kansas State University

Topics:

The New Nation, the Industrial Revolution, abolitionism, American sectionalism, Civil War and Reconstruction, Westward Expansion, the growth of cities, immigration

Methods:

Graduate-level workshops, summer institutes, Web-based projects

The districts involved in this project are located in central Kansas, where budget cuts and prioritization of reading and math have reduced the amount of professional development available to history teachers. A Century of Progress: Thinking Historically Through the 1800s teachers will commit to a series of school-year workshops and 4-day summer institutes led by professors, visiting historians, authors and specialists in history teaching strategies and technology integration. These in-person events will be complemented by online conversations, classroom visits and attendance at the Kansas Council for History Education annual conference. The 40 participating middle school teachers will be selected according to interest and need. Three overarching themes will guide this project: (1) the significant issues, episodes and turning points in U.S. history; (2) how the words and deeds of individual Americans have determined the course of our nation; and (3) how the principles of freedom and democracy have shaped this country's struggles and achievements as well as its social, political and legal institutions and relations. All content will align with the state's eighth grade standards and will be aimed at cultivating an awareness of America's multi-ethnic history. Instructional strategies will range from the time tested, such as effective use of primary resources, to the cutting edge, such as use of the iPod touch to store, access and share teacher-created lessons and activities among participants. Methods instruction will also include understanding points of view, formulating research questions and improving reading comprehension. Teacher-created materials will be posted on a Web site, and teachers will provide training to colleagues in their schools and districts.

Grantee Name:

Olathe District Schools #233

Project Name:

Connecting Learning and Instruction in Olathe (CLIO): We the People: In Search of a More Perfect Union

Project Director:

Maureen P. Donegan

Funding for Years 1-3:

$814,862

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

20

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

5-12

Partners:

University of Kansas, National Archives and Records Administration, Kansas State Historical Society, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, National Indian Law Library, David Library of the American Revolution, Stanford University

Topics:

American Indians; American Revolution; Constitution; Slavery; Civil War; Progressivism; Environmentalism; World War I; Dust Bowl; New Deal; World War II; Cold War; Civil Rights, Vietnam; United States and Global Commitments; Kansas History

Methods:

Colloquia, field studies, lectures, book studies

In this Kansas City metropolitan district, budget cuts have significantly altered teaching assignments, resulting in more American history teachers who need better preparation. For each semester during the three years, the same 20 teachers will participate in eight semester-long colloquia, three 3-day lecture series, and three 5-day travel research workshops led by faculty from the University of Kansas history department. Over the course of the project, the teachers will conduct independent research, create lesson plans and attend 10 professional development sessions for additional training on historiography, pedagogy and local American history resources. Instructional resource teachers will provide feedback to the teachers through classroom observations. The project will explore continuity and change in American history by examining how the founding fathers drafted the Constitution to facilitate changes, recognizing that the nation was not yet perfect. It will also examine the economic, social and political factors that shaped the meaning of "We the People" over time, tracing the causes and effects of the events that have pushed the nation toward becoming a "more perfect union." Participating teachers will learn how to locate and use evidence in primary and secondary sources to interpret the past and explore different perspectives and points of view. They can earn 19 hours of graduate credit through the University of Kansas or receive professional development points through the district. A Web site will feature all the project products and resources, including faculty lectures, classroom videos of teachers and students, lesson and unit plans, electronic field trips, book reviews, and course and workshop syllabi.


 
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Last Modified: 11/23/2010