Teaching American History

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Ohio 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Cincinnati City School District

Project Name:

Becoming America: A Nation, A People

Project Director:

Carolyn Pedapati

Funding for Years 1-3:

$508,663

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

40

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

10

Partners:

Facing History and Ourselves, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, University of Cincinnati, Teachers' Curriculum Institute

Topics:

Year 1: Industrialization and Changing Economies
Year 2: Foreign Policy, Foreign Conflict and a Changing Role in the World
Year 3: Civil Rights and Turning Points in the Constitution

Methods:

Summer institutes, workshops, field studies

In this southwestern Ohio urban district, 70 percent of the student population is African American. Most high school history teachers lack adequate preparation, with fewer than 4 percent holding an undergraduate history degree. Each year, the project teachers will participate in a week-long summer institute to explore the annual theme's content, pedagogy and resources; two workshops focusing on additional content and pedagogical strategies; a field experience at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, using artifacts and other resources to contextualize various aspects of African American history; and a minimum of four curriculum development group sessions. The project will serve 20 teachers the first year with approximately 10 returning and 10 newly recruited teachers each succeeding year. The themes focus on the Ohio Academic Content Standards for 10th grade, which link post-Civil War history to the story of America's early formation, which is covered in eighth grade. This project will build the teachers' understanding of seminal turning points and issues that have shaped America's identity as a nation and a citizenry, and help them translate that knowledge into engaging, rigorous instruction. Strategies will include analysis of primary and secondary sources, historical debate and controversy, and appreciation of recent historiography by examining how historians develop differing interpretations. Teachers also will learn to incorporate the following historical thinking skills into their lessons: chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research capabilities, and historical issues/analysis and decision making. A project Web site will house teacher-developed curricular materials, including lesson plans.

Grantee Name:

Hamilton City School District

Project Name:

Voices of America

Project Director:

Everett C. Mann

Funding for Years 1-3:

$1,000,000

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

50

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade/School Levels:

3- 5, 8, 10, and 12

Partners:

Miami University (Ohio), Ohio Historical Society

Topics:

Year 1: American Government and Politics
Year 2: American Wars and Conflicts
Year 3: American Lands and Migrations
Year 4: Struggle for Rights and Opportunities
Year 5: In Search of the American Dream

Methods:

Summer institutes, seminars, Web site, field experiences

The overall average of teachers with master's degrees in these southwest Ohio districts is 64 percent, but only one percent of teachers of American history and related courses have a master's degree in history. In addition to boosting their content knowledge, teachers want to learn to use historical thinking skills and Web 2.0 technologies. Each year, project activities will include a 5-day summer institute and three 1-day seminars, plus online discussions and a 1-day field experience. Seminars will be presented by historians, professors and teacher leaders to combine scholarship, primary source analysis and teaching strategies; summer institutes will be intensive explorations of content, historical thinking skills and pedagogy. Teachers may elect to participate in more than one year and enter the teacher leader component of the project; this will prepare them to provide ongoing professional development to their colleagues. Voices of America aims to free teachers from textbook-based teaching and to re-ignite their enthusiasm for American history. Annual themes will be developed with an emphasis on using founding documents, determining the impacts of the actions of individuals, connecting national themes to state and local history, understanding economic development, and examining population movement and growth. All content will connect to state standards and will be eligible for graduate or continuing education credits. Field visits to local and regional sites will be tied to the year's theme and state standards. Project participants will create original multimedia history resources, lessons, document-based questions and more, all of which will be available on a Web site (Gateway to History) and through presentations at professional conferences.

Grantee Name:

Mahoning County Educational Service Center

Project Name:

The Movers and Shakers History Grant

Project Director:

Sandra E. Williams

Funding for Years 1-3:

$997,098

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

200

Number of School Districts Served:

16

Grade Levels:

5, 8-10

Partners:

Villanova University, Franklin's Opus, Bill of Rights Institute

Topics:

Colonial America, American Revolution, Constitution, Reformers, Women's Movement, Abolitionism, Civil War, Industrialization, Reconstruction, Immigration, Globalization, Progressivism, World War II, Totalitarianism, Cold War, Civil Rights, Local History

Methods:

Colloquia, summer institutes, field studies, book studies

In this northeastern Ohio consortium, the teachers lack adequate preparation in American history, and the fifth grade passage rate for the Ohio Achievement Test in American history is less than half the state expected average. The project will include (1) professional development with field study experience; (2) a teacher training program for CICERO: History Beyond the Textbook; (3) a monthly online, live professional development program for historical content and strategies; and (4) a bimonthly book reading and discussion group. Each year, 40 fellows will participate in a 2-day fall colloquium, a 3-day winter colloquium, a 2-day field study, four half days of research and review, and a 5-day summer institute. All elementary and U.S. history teachers not selected for a fellowship will be allowed to participate in the online professional development program and attend one day of CICERO training. The project's overarching themes are to examine traditional American history through the lenses of conflict and cooperation, and to study the political, economic, legal, social and ideological contrasts found throughout American history. The teachers will learn to research substantive historical content and collaborate with fellow students, teachers, project historians and history education specialists to generate historical narratives. Scholars will instruct the teachers in investigating specific events, primary sources, personalities, turning points, contemporary interpretations and historiographies pertaining to each field of study. Teacher-developed Web 2.0 sites will include wikis, blogs, peer-reviewed historical narratives and lessons, book reviews and teacher-vetted student work. In addition, student and teacher video resources will be made available on TeacherTube.com.

Grantee Name:

Preble County Educational Service Center

Project Name:

Hometown American History: As Goes Ohio, so Goes the Nation

Project Director:

Joanele Hoce

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,239

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

150

Number of School Districts Served:

15

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 10

Partners:

Myaamia Project of the Miami Tribe, Miami University, Butler County Historical Society, Cincinnati Museum Center

Topics:

Year 1: From a New World to a New Nation
Year 2: Forging American Freedom
Year 3: The Frontier in American History
Year 4: Testing the American Promise
Year 5: American Democracy, American Power

Methods:

Seminars, summer institutes, lectures, field studies, coaching

This project will recruit teachers from mainly rural, small, relatively disadvantaged Ohio districts with significant instructional deficiencies (50 percent are in school improvement) and a lack of professional development opportunities in history. Each year, the project will present new historical materials and concepts during three all-day seminars and a 5-day summer institute. Between seminars, teachers will participate in guided discussion, assessment of digital resources and other activities organized through the project Web site. Project activities, such as lesson plan presentations and team collaboration, will take place across each year. In Year 1, 50 teachers will participate; in each succeeding year, 25 new recruits will join 25 veterans of the project. This mix will allow some teachers to continue their development while simultaneously reaching additional teachers in more schools. The teachers will explore the central issues and turning points of traditional U.S. history through the lenses of regional, state and local history. The project will incorporate a rigorous curriculum of graduate-level history founded on recognized milestones and movements in American history. In terms of strategies, the seminar instruction and teacher-generated products will emphasize detailed analyses of key documents, and the professional development format will offer three graduate credits in history from Miami University. A project Web site will include portfolios of instructional activities and resources developed by the teachers, presentations given by the content providers, and videos and other documentation from the most effective activities and content seminars.

Grantee Name:

Stark County Educational Service Center

Project Name:

The Meaning of Freedom: Ohio and the Nation

Project Director:

Sharon B. Hays

Funding for Years 1-3:

$990,006

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

124

Number of School Districts Served:

17

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, 10, 11

Partners:

University of Akron History Department, Ohio Historical Society, National Constitutional Center

Topics:

Using the concept of freedom to link three content strands: (1) Politics, the Law and Government; (2) Social and Cultural Change; and (3) The Experience of War

Methods:

Summer institutes, seminars, field studies, mentoring

Teachers in Stark County schools often have limited American history knowledge — and limited resources available to improve their knowledge. Each year of The Meaning of Freedom will begin with a 1-week summer institute that includes scholar-led seminars and a 3-day visit to the National Constitution Center as well as nearby historic sites. During the school year, teachers will attend four theme-related seminars and visit two Ohio historic sites; in addition, mentor teachers will meet regularly with participants. In Year 1, intensive training will be provided to four teachers to prepare them as mentor teachers, and these teachers will support project staff to train an additional 30 teachers each remaining year of the project. The project theme looks at how the meaning of freedom — as first articulated in the founding documents of the state and nation — has been central to the struggles and achievements that have been key turning points in American history. The content outlined in the topic strands will be developed to align with state standards and to connect Ohio's people, places, documents and events to those significant to the nation's history; it will be delivered through a blend of in-person and proven online strategies. Applying a backward design process, teachers will learn to use and create inquiry-based lesson plans that integrate 21st century skills and technologies. When complete, the lessons and other project materials, such as seminar content and primary source documents, will be mounted on a Web site and made available to all teachers who want effective and engaging history resources.


 
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Last Modified: 11/24/2010