Teaching American History

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Louisiana 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Algiers Charter Schools Association

Project Name:

Teaching American History: Algiers Charter Schools Association Teacher Professional Development

Project Director:

Karl Asher

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,750

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

250

Number of School Districts Served:

2

Grade Levels:

4, 7, 8, and 11

Partners:

Loyola University, Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, National World War II Museum, Historic New Orleans Collection

Topics:

Year 1: War of 1812, World War I, World War II
Year 2: Reconstruction, Civil Rights
Year 3: Progressive Era, Imperialism, New Deal Era
Year 4: Cold War Era, The 1960s
Year 5: Founding Era, Age of Jackson

Methods:

Colloquia, workshops, seminars

This project will concentrate on a combination of public schools and the public charter schools that were established in the wake of two events in 2005: the Louisiana Board of Education's takeover and restructuring of New Orleans Public Schools and Hurricane Katrina. Although student achievement has approved dramatically since 2005, data still indicate high failure rates on fourth, eighth, and eleventh grade social studies tests. Each year of the project, teachers will participate in 10 colloquia that focus on the key issues, people, ideas and events in American history; a weeklong summer field-research workshop hosted by the Historic New Orleans Collection; and five staff development workshops in which scholars engage teachers on background information, current approaches and possible lessons. The project will recruit 50 new teachers each year. All 50 will participate in the colloquia and staff development workshops, while 20 will attend the summer workshop. The topics will explore the changes and continuity in American democracy, including ideas, institutions and controversies. The teachers will study the most up-to-date research, visit presidential libraries and other archives, and become familiar with American history Web sites and other technology resources. The teachers will have opportunities to study with Loyola University historians and distinguished visiting professors, receive stipends, and obtain continuing learning units. They will create traveling exhibits and History in a Box kits on various topics, featuring introductions, timelines, primary documents, teaching strategies, posters for classroom display, interactive CD-ROMs and DVDs.

Grantee Name:

Caddo Parish School Board

Project Name:

Northwest Louisiana: Exploring the American Experience

Project Director:

Dr. Michael Sartisky

Funding for Years 1-3:

$996,587

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

54

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Louisiana State University at Shreveport, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Louisiana State Museum, Historic New Orleans Collection, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and Records Administration

Topics:

Beginnings to 1607; Colonization, Settlement and Communities (1607-1763); Revolution and the New Nation (1763-1815); Expansion and Reform (1801-1861); Crisis of the Union: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877); Development of Modern America (1865-1920); Modern America and the World Wars (1914-1945); Contemporary America (1945-Present)

Methods:

Summer institutes, workshops, training in Internet-based sources, master teachers

Louisiana's Caddo Parish has high percentages of minority students (67%) and students living in poverty (64%), and only four of the district's 11 high schools offer Advanced Placement courses in American history. The state does not certify teachers in American history, and the district offers no ongoing professional development to its 208 teachers of the subject. To address teachers' needs, graduate-level summer institutes, led by scholars, will meet for four weeks each year; content will align with grade-level expectations set out in the state standards (e.g., in Year 1, elementary teachers will focus on early explorations and colonization, middle school teachers will address the founding of the nation, and high school teachers will explore events from the Gilded Age to World War I). The institutes will be augmented by school-year workshops and other activities, enabling teachers to earn graduate credits and state continuing-learning units; they will also receive stipends, textbooks and primary teaching resources. The project will recruit 54 American history teachers at all grade levels, weighting selections toward underperforming schools; these teachers will stay with the project for the full five years. The project's dedication to raising the bar on rigor will have its school-year activities extend and expand on summer learning experiences. History education specialists from partnering organizations will conduct workshops that deliver content and pedagogy (e.g., staff from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery will conduct workshops on how to use historic art to teach American history), and three master teachers — one for each school level — will provide instruction and mentoring.


 
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Last Modified: 11/23/2010