Teaching American History

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New York 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Amber Charter School

Project Name:

History Through Harmony

Project Director:

Dr. Vasthi Reyes-Acosta

Funding for Years 1-3:

$499,998

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

46

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4 and 7

Partners:

University of Pittsburgh, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Foundation for Critical Thinking, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation

Topics:

The Colonial Period and the Revolutionary War; American Democracy; Westward Expansion; Slavery and the Civil War; Reconstruction and Redemption; the Great Depression; Industrialization; the Civil Rights Movement; Migration and Immigration; Emerging Foreign Policy

Methods:

Summer institutes, online courses, workshops, coaching, field studies

The New York City schools in this project qualify for Title I funding and have significant percentages of students with disabilities or limited English proficiency. Annual activities will include two online courses, monthly collegial groups, a 2-week summer institute, nine content and pedagogical workshops, historic site tours and peer coaching. During Year 4, all teachers will participate in a 2-week summer institute, and fourth grade teachers will participate in a history fair; in Year 5, all teachers will participate in full-day collegial meetings, and seventh grade teachers will participate in National History Day. Also in Year 5, teachers will visit other project schools to see how the activities are being implemented. An assistant principal from every school will participate to build capacity to coach teachers and to oversee implementation. The project will have three cohorts — assistant principals in Year 1, fourth grade teachers in Year 2 and seventh grade teachers in Year 3. This project will use music as a lens for teaching social studies with American history. Classroom strategies will focus on expanding pedagogical expertise in critical thinking skills as well as integrating music and video as primary sources. The Center for American Music will conduct summer institutes on using music in teaching. Online courses from the Foundation for Critical Thinking will teach theory and application of critical thinking skills, Gilder Lehrman workshops will help teachers create lesson plans, and tours and workshops from Brooklyn Navy Yard will help bring the historical content to life. The project Web site will house archives of student work and project-created, media-rich lesson plans that will be available to all teachers.

Grantee Name:

Community School District 12

Project Name:

Our American Democracy: A Middle and Secondary School Grant

Project Director:

Emily J. Sintz

Funding for Years 1-3:

$988,506

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

500

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

7-12

Partners:

Queens College-CUNY, American Social History Project, Persistent Issues in History Network, Education Development Center

Topics:

Year 1: Beginning to 1607; Colonization, Settlement and Communities
Year 2: The Revolution and the New Nation; Expansion and Reform
Year 3: Crisis of the Union — Civil War and Reconstruction; The Development of Modern America
Year 4: Modern America and the World Wars; Contemporary America
Year 5: The Changing Role of America in the World; Change and Continuity in American Democracy

Methods:

Summer institutes, lectures, history forums

Middle and high school students in this diverse, low-income Bronx district have traditionally scored poorly on the New York statewide U.S. History Regents exam; also, teachers have little access to history-related professional development. Each year, the project will involve 32 teacher leaders in a week-long summer institute in which they will share primary and secondary sources to develop curriculum units and field-test U.S. history lessons with summer school students. At the institute, they will form curriculum design teams and participate in 11 meetings throughout the year to discuss content aligned with the targeted National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) periods. A total of 75 teachers will attend lectures twice a year, and 100 teachers will participate in two history forums per year, featuring lectures, primary source work and sharing of curriculum design team units. The participants will rotate each year with some overlap of teachers. The content will be based on a key premise — participation in society as educated citizens and voters requires students to understand the development of our democratic institutions and ideas. The project will extend teachers' ability to use primary sources, Web tools and inquiry strategies. Participating teachers will work within curriculum design teams — comprising a team historian, a teacher educator and eight high school teachers — to develop two units per year that align with the NAEP U.S. history themes and periods. A Web site will host these units, which will include primary and secondary sources, teaching strategies, lesson plans, activities and high-quality assessments. They will also share these materials through 2-day professional development history forums.

Grantee Name:

Community School District 32

Project Name:

History Matters: Bringing U.S. History to Diverse Learners

Project Director:

Deborah Nasta

Funding for Years 1-3:

$966,723

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

72

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

7 and 8

Partners:

CUNY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, Paley Center for Media, New York Public Library, Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Topics:

Year 1: Debates Over Democracy
Year 2: Immigration and Migration
Year 3: Building a Nation
Year 4: Same sequence as Year 1
Year 5: Same sequence as Year 2

Methods:

Seminars, workshops, classroom observations

This project will serve diverse New York City schools, where only 38 percent of general education and eight percent of special education and English Language Learner (ELL) students pass eighth grade U.S. history exams. Each year, the project will feature (1) eight day-long seminars, where historians introduce U.S. history topics using primary sources and the Thinking Like a Historian framework; (2) up to four half-day seminars at museums, demonstrating how to integrate art, material culture and local history resources into teaching; (3) guidance and support in developing and teaching classroom activities, including assistance in instructional design, classroom visits and online collaborative communities; and (4) pre- and post-project evaluation data and reviews of student work, which will help the teachers and districts improve instructional practice, teacher knowledge and student achievement. The project will involve two separate cohorts of 36  seventh and eighth grade teachers who work with special education and ELL students. The first cohort will participate in Years 1-3; during Years 4-5, the second cohort will receive training in the topics from Years 1-2. The content is derived from the New York State core social studies curriculum, but organized topically to allow teachers to develop themes across U.S. history. The teachers will study major events and themes with leading historians as well as pedagogical designs that combine content with strategies for building general and special education students' historical understanding and skills. The project will videotape selected participants' teaching lessons and make these best practices available online. Primary source materials, podcasts by historians and teacher-created classroom activities also will be featured online.

Grantee Name:

Fallsburg Central School District

Project Name:

Conflict and Resolution

Project Director:

Dr. Ivan J. Katz

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,990

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

150

Number of School Districts Served:

10

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Smithsonian Institution, Cornell University

Topics:

Year 1: Revolution and a New Nation
Year 2: A Nation Divided
Year 3: Reconstruction and War in the West
Year 4: War and Depression
Year 5: Defending Democracy in a Global Society

Methods:

Workshops, seminars, summer institutes, field studies, Professional Learning Communities

This project will serve high-need, low-performing rural and urban-fringe districts in New York State. Eight of the 10 districts include schools that failed to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress; two schools are in state-designed school improvement status. Each year, teachers will participate in (1) two content-specific 3-day workshops, taught by academic/pedagogic experts from the Smithsonian Institution; (2) a credit-bearing, week-long summer institute taught by professors from Cornell University; and (3) bi-monthly professional learning community sessions, which allow teachers to discuss content, pedagogy strategies and best practices through feedback, modeling and support (six sessions per year). In Years 2 and 4, they will attend summer learning excursions in Washington, D.C., to study with university historians, museum educators and content specialists. In Years 1, 3 and 5, they will visit local historic sites that offer on-site studies of war, social conflict and conflict resolution. The project will involve at least 35 teachers per year, encouraging repeat attendance in multiple activities. The content will investigate social, political and military conflict throughout American history. It also will examine key figures, critical events and social movements that changed the course of history, and the conflicts and resolutions that altered the American experience. The project framework captures the work of countless historians and educators to identify main ideas, people and unifying themes in American history. All activities will help teachers develop strategies that incorporate primary sources into daily lessons. The project Web site will feature lesson plans, primary sources and an electronic library of workshops, seminars and institute lectures.

Grantee Name:

Harlem Day Charter School

Project Name:

Core America Project

Project Director:

Curtis Palmore

Funding for Years 1-3:

$490,666

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

160

Number of School Districts Served:

10

Grade Levels:

4-12

Partners:

Columbia University, Leap

Topics:

Colonization, Settlement and Communities (1400-1763); Revolution and the New Nation (1763-1815); Expansion and Reform (1801-1861); Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877); Development of Modern America (1865-1920); America and the World Wars (1914-1945); Contemporary America (1945-Present)

Methods:

Content workshops, classroom-based modeling field studies

The districts participating in this project are all New York City charter schools with limited funds for professional development; this consortium will help them meet a common need. During the school year, teachers will have seven 3-hour workshops as well as six hours of classroom-based modeling and guided practice; summer activities will include three 5-hour sessions. All of these events will include both content and pedagogy, and locations will be split between Columbia University, the home school, local museums and historic sites. Five cohorts of 32 teachers, one each year of the grant, will participate. Each will study the same time periods, but will have a different annual focus (see topics, above). One project goal is to create a community of learners that will expand to other charter schools. Teachers will all study the same historical content, then learn grade-appropriate approaches to teaching it. For example, when studying Jacksonian Democracy (universal suffrage for white males, an economy that depended on slavery, the shifting understanding of citizenship), elementary students might work from an old photo to create a short biography showing how events impacted the person's life. Middle school students might create a board game based on an important industry of the time, and high school students might write newspaper editorials that take opposing views of an issue. Teachers will create a variety of products, including lesson plans, journal articles, conference presentations and videos; all will be available on the Web sites of local, regional and national organizations as well as through professional conferences and publications.

Grantee Name:

New York City Community School District 23

Project Name:

New York City Teaching American History Grant

Project Director:

Gus Hatzidimitriou

Funding for Years 1-3:

$997,919

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

250

Number of School Districts Served:

10

Grade Levels:

5

Partners:

New York City Department of Education, Columbia University, St. John's University, New York Historical Society, Museum of the City of New York, National Archives and Records Administration-New York, National Park Service, Brooklyn Historical Society, South Street Seaport, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Topics:

Pre-Columbian Peoples; European Exploration of the Americas; the American Colonies; the Revolutionary War, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and Bill of Rights; Transportation and the West; Reform, Abolition, the Civil War and the Draft Riots; the Gilded Age

Methods:

Workshops, seminars, summer institutes, classroom observations

This New York City consortium involves schools in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn that serve ethnically diverse and predominately inner-city, low-income students — 72 percent qualify for reduced-price meals, and 14 percent receive special education courses. Only 75 percent of the consortium's schools are meeting Adequate Yearly Progress goals. The project will feature rigorous coursework, methods instruction, monthly reviews of student achievement and classroom practices, and classroom observations and lesson modeling. Each year, the project activities will include (1) nine full-day in-service training sessions at Columbia University, St. John's University and historic sites, featuring content lectures and guidance on pedagogy training, technology integration, differentiated instruction and student evaluation and instruction; (2) two after-school meetings per month, focusing on the preparation of pretests and posttests and content-related teaching materials; and (3) a summer institute to review earlier training materials and develop lesson plans and classroom-ready resources. Each cohort of 50 teachers will receive one year of professional development; the following year, this cohort will continue to attend monthly meetings, give pretests and posttests to students, and provide support to the next cohort. Each year, the project teachers will read eight books and numerous articles and learn to apply primary sources, artifacts, first-hand accounts, illustrations and site visits to classroom practice. Teacher-developed materials will be posted on two Web sites that reach local, statewide and national audiences.

Grantee Name:

New York City Department of Education CSD 8

Project Name:

Telling America's Story: Traditional American History Through Art, Artifacts and Media

Project Director:

Philip D. Panaritis

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,410

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

125

Number of School Districts Served:

6

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 7, 8, and 11

Partners:

Museum of the City of New York, New York Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, National Archives and Records Administration-Northeast Region, Bronx County Historical Society

Topics:

Colonial Era, American Revolution, New Nation, Civil War, Progressive Era, Great Depression, Development of Modern America

Methods:

Summer institutes, walking tours, history seminars, lectures, film study groups

A Teaching American History initiative was implemented in three of these low-income East Bronx districts beginning in 2003. This new project builds on this earlier grant's success by extending the program to all teachers and schools in the Bronx. Each year, teachers will attend a 2-week summer institute, featuring a morning seminar with a nationally known historian; presentations by educators from the partner organizations; a study of how historical art and artifacts can illuminate content, including curatorial lectures, gallery walks and tours of exhibits and collections; and a history media training workshop. During the school year, teachers will participate in walking tours of New York City, lectures and film study groups. Five cohorts of 25 teachers will receive one year of intensive training in U.S. history content knowledge and aligned pedagogical skills that integrate historical art, artifacts and media into the classroom. Hundreds of other U.S. history teachers also may participate in ancillary program activities. In-depth case studies of New York City history will offer a lens for viewing national events and themes across U.S. history. Teachers will translate their knowledge and skills into original content-rich materials and improved practices. Collaboration through peer networks will help teachers share and develop common strategies for instructing all students. Once teachers complete the program, they will become teacher historians, continuing to develop their content knowledge and supporting other teachers. The participants will develop classroom materials, including lesson plans, activities using media, History in a Box artifacts and documents, and curriculum units.

Grantee Name:

New York City Department of Education, District 75

Project Name:

American History for All

Project Director:

Carmen Amador

Funding for Years 1-3:

$821,282

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

72

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4-12

Partners:

New York Historical Society, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Museum of the City of New York

Topics:

Year 1: Diplomacy and Dialogue in History
Year 2: Geography in History
Year 3: Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History
Year 4: Turning Points in History
Year 5: Rights and Responsibilities in History

Methods:

Field studies, workshops, seminars

This large district represents a diverse cross section of students and faculty across New York City. Each year of the project, up to 32 teachers (some continuing for more than 1 year) will participate in (1) a 3-day staff development workshop, which will demonstrate effective methods for teaching American history through historic sites in Philadelphia, New York City and elsewhere in New York state; (2) two 3-hour summer and two 3-hour Saturday workshops, in which teachers will practice using multimedia equipment at the new DiMenna Children's History Museum; and (3) a 3-day summer and a 3-day Saturday workshop to help middle and high school teachers convey the proper historiography skills to prepare their students for participation in National History Day. In addition to the outlined topics and historic site visits, the participants will receive guided tours of these New York Historical Society temporary exhibits: Life for a Child: Insulin; John Rogers: American Stories; Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York; and New York in World War II. The project will focus on using multimedia and news broadcasting to disseminate facts about historic events, conducting extensive research via public and museum library resources, and engaging students in debates on historical topics and time periods. The strategies will include historical instructional methodologies, differentiated instruction tied to content, and flexible approaches to address various student needs, such as using picture symbols to facilitate communication. Project products will be shared online; these will include lesson plans, alternative assessments, student portfolios and video productions of students and staff.

Grantee Name:

New York City Department of Education Community School District 29

Project Name:

Shaping U.S. History: How People Changed the Destiny of America

Project Director:

Gus Hatzdimitriou

Funding for Years 1-3:

$960,290

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

60

Number of School Districts Served:

7

Grade Levels:

6-12

Partners:

Gotham Center, The New York Center for Urban Culture, St. John's University, New York Public Library, Museum of the City of New York

Topics:

The Constitution and Bill of Rights, Native Americans, Colonial America, Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction, Industrialization, Foreign Policy, Progressive Era, Great Depression, World War II, Cold War, Civil Rights, Vietnam War

Methods:

Workshops, summer institutes, lectures, book studies, field studies, Web site, mentoring

This project will serve the public schools of Queens, where nearly 50 percent of eighth graders have failed the Intermediate Social Studies test and 25 percent of high school students have failed the U.S. History and Government Regents exam. Each year, the project teachers will attend eight 1-day workshops, in which professional historians examine how people have shaped events through interactions, collaborations and conflicts; the teachers will align this content with pedagogical skills and will receive classroom materials, books and history resources, with an emphasis on biographies. An annual 5-day summer institute will cover topics too large in scope to be addressed in a 1-day workshop and will feature field trips to New York City sites. The first cohort of 30 teachers will participate for the first two years, followed by a second cohort of 30 teachers over the next two years. During the fifth year, 30 teachers — selected from the two cohorts — will participate in eight full-day Master American History workshops. The project activities will show teachers how to align content with the New York State Core Curriculum in U.S. history by using strategies that students find engaging, such as curating museum exhibits, writing newspaper articles, role playing and oral history. The teachers also will learn to use media, library and museum collections, and maps; modify primary sources for different learning levels; plan effective field trips; differentiate learning for students with diverse needs and backgrounds; and find easily accessible resources. The teachers' lesson plans and materials will be disseminated through the project's Open Educational Resources Commons Web site.

Grantee Name:

New York City Department of Education Community School District 18

Project Name:

Leadership and Change: Turning Points in American History

Project Director:

Gus Hatzidimitriou

Funding for Years 1-3:

$958,693

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

60

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

8 and 11

Partners:

Gotham Center, the New York Center for Urban Culture, St. John's University, New York Public Library, Museum of the City of New York

Topics:

Native Americans; Colonialism; the Constitution; Slavery; the Civil War; Reconstruction; Industrialism; U.S. Foreign Policy; the Progressive Era; the Great Depression; World War II; the Cold War; Civil Rights; the Vietnam War; the Modern Era

Methods:

Workshops, summer institutes, lectures, mentoring, master history teacher program

This project will serve schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where more than half the  eighth grade students failed the Intermediate Social Studies Test and nearly one-third of eleventh grade students failed the U.S. History and Government Regents Examination, which is required for graduation. For each of the first two years of the project, a cohort of 30 teachers will attend eight full-day workshops, a 5-day summer institute conducted by professional historians and four 2-hour history lectures by professional historians (open to all middle and high school U.S. history teachers in the district); the second cohort will follow this same pattern for Years 3 and 4. During Year 5, 30 teachers — selected from the two cohorts — will attend master American history workshops where they will work collaboratively to develop classroom materials based on the content. Participants will be chosen based on their educational experiences and backgrounds, their preparedness to teach U.S. history, and the levels of their students. The curriculum will demonstrate how history can be studied through the lives of the people who have shaped it; as such, biography will be an important element. The project strategies will include engaging students in hands-on history through oral history; curating museum exhibits in the classroom; encouraging student journalism as a means of exploring history; conducting mock trials and debates; accessing and using appropriate primary sources; integrating books, art and media into the classroom; using technology and Web resources effectively; accessing library and museum collections; and using maps. The products will include lesson plans, presentations, study units, classroom activities and modified primary documents.

Grantee Name:

Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services

Project Name:

Comprehensive Professional Development Program for Teaching American History

Project Director:

Daryll F. Wheeler

Funding for Years 1-3:

$989,497

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

72

Number of School Districts Served:

23

Grade Levels:

2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 11

Partners:

Cortland-SUNY, Onondaga Historical Association

Topics:

American Revolution and the New Nation; Expansion and Reform; Civil War and Reconstruction; Modern America and the World Wars

Methods:

Seminars, summer institutes, field experiences, fellows program

In these New York state districts, teachers have minimal American history training and limited access to content-specific training or professional experiences. During each school year, monthly seminars will incorporate recent scholarship and historical thinking skills. These meetings will be supplemented by online book chats using the project's Blackboard site. After completing the 10 seminars, teachers will attend a 5-day summer institute and learn to integrate newly learned content as well as develop tools to evaluate existing teaching materials and student work. By attending the summer institute, teachers will earn three graduate credits from the State University of New York College at Cortland. They also will participate in hands-on field experiences and in a teaching fellows program. Each year, the project will organize four content teams of six teachers, paired with a project historian and master teacher. These teams will develop content-specific curriculum units using the Understanding by Design framework. The project content will emphasize the impact of the nation's foundational documents and events on the lives of ordinary Americans. Highlighting these individual stories will help teachers appreciate the ways Americans have experienced significant turning points in history. Historians will share significant primary sources, identify valuable online archives, and model analysis and interpretation of the materials. The project also will help teachers engage students in critical analysis and higher level thinking. The products will include unit-level teaching materials, a project that superimposes the curriculum onto a U.S. map, and other teacher-created resources, such as the team-developed curriculum units, which will be reviewed for historical accuracy and field-tested to ensure alignment with learning objectives.

Grantee Name:

Rochester City School District

Project Name:

Growing Up in America: A Historical Journey?

Project Director:

Jennifer Gkourlias

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,000,000

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

300

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

K-2

Partners:

Nazareth College, University of Rochester, Rochester Museum and Science Center, Strong National Museum of Play, Genesee Country Village and Museum, Central Library of Rochester

Topics:

Families of Native Americans, Working Long Ago, Urbanization, From Farm to City, Education, Childhood, American Identity, Transportation: Erie Canal

Methods:

Seminars, summer institutes, workshops

These schools in western New York are in a high-need, urban district — 84 percent of the elementary students come from families that are economically disadvantaged. In addition, 5th-grade students have scored nine percent below the statewide average on the New York social studies learning standard. Each year of this project, a new cohort of 60 teachers will attend eight after-school workshops; 50 of these teachers will attend an annual summer institute, featuring visits to partner institutions, content lectures and workshops on pedagogical practices. Teachers will be encouraged to attend in teams of three teachers per school to foster collaboration and collegial support. The topics were selected after considering key ideas and major understandings in the New York state American history curriculum, particularly areas that challenge students in the Grades 5 and 8 social studies assessments. The project will increase the teachers' content understanding of key events, issues and people in American history and improve their pedagogical skills. The professional development will guide teachers in using documents, photos, objects and paintings to elicit and build on young students' understandings of history. Two lead teachers will provide classroom-embedded coaching; relevant lesson plans; and research-based, effective teaching practices to the participants. Instructional products developed as part of the project will be posted on the district's Web site and on the project's wiki. Teacher research, including case studies and reflections on how the project has transformed teaching practice, will be published in partnership with the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

Grantee Name:

Rockland Bureau of Cooperative Educational Services

Project Name:

21st Century Historians

Project Director:

Dr. Charlene Jordan

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,886

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

200

Number of School Districts Served:

8

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 7, 8, and 11

Partners:

New York State Historical Association, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Organization of American Historians, New York State Archives

Topics:

Year 1: Colonization and Settlement
Year 2: Development of the Industrial United States
Year 3: The Emergence of Modern America
Year 4: The Revolution
Year 5: Contemporary United States

Methods:

Workshops, summer institutes, online learning, virtual field studies

Teachers in eight southeastern New York districts have expressed interest in this project, and its topics were based on teacher-identified priorities. A typical year's activities will include a kickoff session, two after-school sessions, two 3-hour Saturday sessions, two full days of content learning, one or more online sessions and a full-day field trip to a local historic site. During the summer, teachers will attend a 5-day institute with content workshops, visits to historic locations and exploration of primary source documents and instructional strategies. Teachers will participate in one of three tiers: Tier 1 (50 teachers) will constitute the core group, committing to full participation and to mentoring other tiers; Tier 2 (50 teachers) will join in Years 2 and 3, attending many but not all activities; and Tier 3 (up to 100 teachers) will have access to Web tools training and to some other events. Rather than treating history as a set of facts, this project will address historical themes and questions that tell us who we are as Americans and how we got this way. Strategies such as document-based questioning and using primary source documents will support this approach. Teachers will focus on incorporating 21st century technologies and skills into their practice; to this end, and to limit time away from the classroom, the project will employ both in-person and online activities. The online platform will support conferencing and social networking tools, providing the added benefit of helping teachers build a learning community. The Tier 1 teachers will produce unit plans that will be available on a regional Web site.

Grantee Name:

Ulster County Board of Cooperative Educational Services

Project Name:

An American Story: Struggles and Triumphs

Project Director:

Danielle Yeomans

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,982

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

167

Number of School Districts Served:

24

Grade Levels:

2-6

Partners:

SUNY-New Paltz, New York Historical Society, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Huguenot Historical Society, New Netherland Institute

Topics:

Discovery and Settlement in the New World; Colonial America; The Struggle for Independence and the Birth of a New Nation; Creating a Democratic Government; Inclusion Into the Dream; Working People and the Nation's History; Territorial Acquisition and the Triumph of Growth; National Strength and Security

Methods:

Summer institutes, workshops, field studies, book clubs, coaching

Of the 223 elementary history teachers in these mid-Hudson Valley districts, only one has an undergraduate degree in American history and none has a graduate degree in the field. And although professional development in reading, math and science is readily available, this is not true for history. An American Story: Struggles and Triumphs will engage teachers in U.S. history through lectures and discussions during week-long summer institutes, monthly workshops and other traditional approaches. It will take a notably 21st century approach — teachers will learn to use multimedia software to create an interactive virtual museum that will be curated by project staff, partners, teachers and students. In Year 1, 40 teachers and three teacher coaches will participate; in Years 2 through 5, nine teachers and the three teacher coaches from Year 1 will continue, and they will be joined by annual cadres of 31 new teachers. Institute topics will explore the thesis that the American story is one of continual struggle toward an ideal — freedom to pursue and equal opportunity to achieve the "American Dream." Content will focus on local, regional and national events and people, making use of primary sources available through partner organizations and nearby historic sites. For example, the New York Historical Society will offer workshops titled "Nueva York" and "Revolutions! America, France and Haiti." Participants will visit the Erie Canal, the Tenement Museum and the Vanderbilt Mansion. The project will produce the virtual museum, a variety of classroom materials and a cadre of teacher leaders who can support their colleagues in building American history expertise.

Grantee Name:

Utica City School District

Project Name:

Adapting Project HISTORY: Historians' In-service, Standards, Technology Integration and Outside Resources Yearly

Project Director:

Jamie G. Hanretty

Funding for Years 1-3:

$963,574

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

50

Number of School Districts Served:

7

Grade Levels:

7-12

Partners:

Syracuse University, Oneida County Historical Society, Oneida Community Mansion, Fort Stanwix, Erie Canal Museum

Topics:

Year 1: Colonization, Settlement and Communities; The Revolution and the New Nation; Expansion and Reform
Year 2: Crisis and the Union: Civil War and Reconstruction; the Development of Modern America; Modern America and the World Wars
Year 3: Contemporary America

Methods:

Seminars, webinars, field studies, workshops

 Adapting Project HISTORY will serve seven districts in central New York State, where a 2010 needs assessment demonstrated that a large majority of secondary history teachers need professional development related to interacting with content experts, using new research-based teaching skills and strategies, developing primary sources, integrating new technology and examining local history resources. The project will combine historians' presentations, related technology integration sessions, and visits to these historic sites and museums: Oneida Community Mansion House, the Oneida County Historical Society, the Erie Canal Museum and Fort Stanwix. Each cadre of 25 secondary teachers will participate in 75 hours of seminars led by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; the professional development programs for the two cadres will be split into two consecutive 30-month periods. The seminars will follow the National Assessment of Educational Progress subject areas for U.S. history and focus on significant events, issues and turning points in American history. In addition to attending the seminars, the teachers will learn to align their content to state standards and analyze original American history documents. The project is adapted from Issues in American History, a professional development program established in 1976 to help teachers improve students' knowledge of American history and problem-solving skills. The project directors will develop a Web site that serves as a teaching, learning and research resource; the Web products will include teacher-prepared Webquests and PowerPoint presentations, which other teachers can access and replicate.

Grantee Name:

Warsaw School District

Project Name:

Warsaw Township

Project Director:

Jessica Derwin

Funding for Years 1-3:

$491,400

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

100

Number of School Districts Served:

1

 

 

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Seton Hall University, Warsaw Historical Society, Warsaw Public Library, Franklin's Opus

Topics:

Year 1: Out of an Empire
Year 2: From Unity to Division
Year 3: From Division to Unity
Year 4: Liberal Democracy vs. Totalitarianism
Year 5: Liberty and Tyranny

Methods:

Colloquia, summer institutes, workshops

In this small, rural district in southwestern New York, few students score at the mastery level on the New York State U.S. History Regents exam, and all teachers surveyed as part of an assessment cited a need for additional professional development in American history. Each year, the project teachers will attend (1) a 2-day fall colloquium, (2) a 2-day winter colloquium, (3) 1 day of CICERO training, (4) 2 half-days of research and review, and (5) a 3-day summer institute. During these sessions, they will analyze historical content with noted scholars and explore innovative research-based theoretical frameworks and instructional strategies. All teachers in the district will be invited to attend 12 live evening videoconferences per year, involving various scholars and teachers across the nation. The project will recruit 30 teachers per year, with some participating for multiple years. Participants will focus on crucial political, economic, legal and social events and issues in American history by researching primary documents, personalities, turning points, contemporary issues, historiographies, geography, economics and political thought. They will structure this content within the Binary Paideia program and learn how to examine historical topics through the lens of a historian, demonstrating to their students how to research historical materials. In ddition, they will create historical narratives, lessons and innovative instructional activities. A project Web site will feature instructional strategies, lesson plans and other teacher- and student-generated materials, such as digital video resources, a wiki and blogs.


 
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Last Modified: 11/29/2010