Teaching American History

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Michigan 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District

Project Name:

American Success Through Purposeful Instruction and Rigorous Education

Project Director:

Gary Goren

Funding for Year 1-3:

$498,252

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

80

Number of School Districts Served:

6

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Michigan State University, Ferris State University, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, eLearning Systems, Ed-Consulting, Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

Topics:

Year 1: Creating a Government of Laws, Not Men (1607-1775)
Year 2: Creating an American Identity (1776-1790)
Year 3: Conflict and Compromise (1791-1865)
Year 4: Origins of America (1865-1945)
Year 5: Shaping of America (1946-Present)

Methods:

Summer colloquia, historical encounter sessions, peer mentoring and observations, field experiences, online discussions, book studies

This project will help northeastern Michigan districts where about one-fourth of history teachers still need to reach highly qualified status. Each year, teachers will participate in a credit-bearing graduate course, six 3-hour historical encounter sessions, online WebLessons, a 2-day summer colloquium and a variety of sessions focused on pedagogy and lesson development. In addition, 20 teachers each year will attend the summer field experience in New York City. Teachers will participate in one of two cohorts: the first (Years 1-3) will include 40 teachers from Grades K-5, and the second (Years 3-5) will include 40 teachers from Grades 6-12.  American Success Through Purposeful Instruction and Rigorous Education will focus on turning points and themes in American history to prepare teachers to help students understand how social, political and legal institutions have been shaped. Graduate courses, guided readings and historical encounter sessions led by historians will help teachers explore the framework of the nation; primary source documents, Web-based resources, recent scholarship and field experiences will present a variety of perspectives on economic, legal and social issues. Pedagogical workshops will focus on strategies that utilize 21st century tools. As part of their learning, teachers will develop lessons that define how the words and deeds of key individuals and interpretations of the nation's founding documents have determined the course of American history. These lessons, videos of historical encounter sessions and links to primary sources will be provided on a project Web site and through a Moodle interactive interface. Project partners will collaborate to create an online theme-based professional development program that can be used by other programs and teachers.

Grantee Name:

Montcalm Area Intermediate School District

Project Name:

T.E.A.C.H.: Teachers Exploring American Culture and History

Project Director:

Rebecca Bush

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,991

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

160

Number of School Districts Served:

19

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Smithsonian Institution, Central Michigan University

Topics:

Year 1: Culture and History of the Colonies
Year 2: Constitution, New Challenges, Cultural Crisis
Year 3: Civil War, Culture Clash, Moving Forward
Year 4: Good Times, Bad Times and World War
Year 5: Evolution of a Modern Nation

Methods:

Workshops, summer institutes, field studies

The Montcalm consortium schools are located in a rural central Michigan region that faces persistent challenges, including academic underachievement, poverty, substance abuse, significant achievement gaps and high failure rates on American history achievement tests. Each year, 32 teachers from high-need, low-performing schools will attend two 3-day workshops taught by a team of academic/pedagogy experts from the Smithsonian Institution and a credit-bearing, weeklong summer institute taught by professors from the Central Michigan University history and education departments; in Years 2 and 4, the teachers will participate in summer learning excursions to Washington, D.C., to study with university historians, museum educators and content specialists at the Smithsonian Institution and other historic sites. Teachers from each participating school will attend peer-education forums every two months to explore teacher-identified topics, lesson plan development, modeling and peer education. The project will explore how culture and history have intertwined to shape and steer the American experience and the values and beliefs that define our national identity. Partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution, Central Michigan University and local historic sites/organizations will give the project teachers an opportunity to better understand the social and political conflicts, events and conditions that expanded civil rights, promoted the protection of personal freedom and encouraged the growth of democratic values throughout U.S. history. The project will produce a Web portal for archiving lesson plans, primary sources and material from workshops, seminars and institute lectures. A blog will allow teachers to share best practices and seek advice from peers regarding classroom challenges and content topics.


 
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Last Modified: 11/23/2010