Teaching American History

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South Carolina 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Anderson County School District Five

Project Name:

Journey: The Diverse Journey of All Americans From Reconstruction to the 21st Century

Project Director:

Dr. Jeff Wilson

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,741

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

93

Number of School Districts Served:

2

Grade Levels:

7-12

Partners:

Clemson University, South Carolina Council for African American Studies, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Avery Research Center for African American History, Furman University, Anderson County Library

Topics:

Year 1: Reconstruction (1866-77), The Industrial Age (1870-77), The Gilded Age (1878-89), The Progressive Era (1890-1913)
Year 2: The Great Migration (1910-40), The Great War (1914-18), The Depression and the New Deal (1928-36), World War II (1939-45)
Year 3: Postwar America (1945-60), The Civil Rights Movement (1950-present), The Cold War (1945-91), Century End to the New Millennium (1980-2009)
Years 4 and 5: To be determined

Methods:

Saturday seminars, professional learning teams, book studies, summer symposia, traveling history institutes

These adjoining northwestern South Carolina districts share the challenge of students who are unprepared in history; the majority of middle and high school students fail to achieve proficiency on standardized and end-of-course history exams. During the school year, teachers will establish school-based professional learning teams, conduct book studies and attend several 1-day and 5-day workshops; in the summer, teachers will participate in a 5-day summer symposium and a 4- to 5-day traveling history institute. All events will deliver content and pedagogy, and the summer institutes will include activities focused on developing classroom curriculum. All middle and high school teachers of American history in the two districts will participate in this project with the goals of learning to think like historians and translating this skill to their students. As the learning moves from Reconstruction to the present, content will emphasize the struggles and perspectives of women and cultural minorities and their contributions to shaping American history. Instructional strategies will focus on using primary sources, aligning instruction to standards, developing critical thinking skills and thinking like a historian. Professional learning teams will also develop teachers' skills around using student data and analyzing student work. A project Web site will house all teacher-created materials and links to relevant sites, making them available to all teachers.

Grantee Name:

Charleston County School District

Project Name:

The Palmetto Project: Perspectives in American History

Project Director:

Dr. Nancy J. McGinley

Funding for Years 1-3:

$993,578

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

250

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 11

Partners:

College of Charleston, The Post and Courier newspaper, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Topics:

4th Grade: United States Studies to 1865
5th Grade: United States Studies — 1865 to the Present
8th Grade: South Carolina — One of the United States
11th Grade: United States History and the Constitution

Methods:

Colloquia, summer institutes, field studies

Eleven schools in this district had failure rates exceeding 70 percent on South Carolina's 2008-09 U.S. History High School End of Course assessment. To meet the needs of teachers as identified through assessment and anecdotal data, the project will offer two 2-day colloquia focused on historical content aligned with teachers' instructional assignments, ongoing instructional planning to help teachers share knowledge and resources, and a summer institute that combines historical content, pedagogy and field studies at historic sites in South Carolina. During five days of field studies outside of South Carolina, master educators will model how to convey content in classrooms using effective methods, including primary documents, artifact research, the incorporation of literature to help young students grasp historical complexity and learning/digital technologies. The project will involve 50 teachers per year: 30 from the fourth and fifth grades in an elementary cohort, and 20 from the eighth and eleventh grades in a middle/high school cohort. The Palmetto Project: Perspectives in American History will include direct content instruction in the eight National Assessment of Educational Progress historical periods, effective pedagogy for content instruction and the production of high-quality resources. The project curriculum will focus on traditional American history and correlate to South Carolina educational standards, with an emphasis on the Civil War. The project will help teachers use primary documents and integrate technology into classroom instruction as they apply pedagogical methods based on effective practices. Some participants will present at regional and national conferences. A project Web site will share teacher-developed lesson plans and resources, and the project evaluation findings will be published.

Grantee Name:

Greenwood School District 50

Project Name:

Teaching American History in the Lakelands

Project Director:

Domer F. Ridings

Funding for Years 1-3:

$991,668

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

60

Number of School Districts Served:

7

Grade Levels:

3-5, 8, and 11

Partners:

Lander University, Erskine College, Presbyterian College, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, The Museum of Greenwood, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration-Southeast Region

Topics:

Year 1: Revolution and the New Nation
Year 2: Contemporary America
Year 3: The Development of Modern America; Modern America and the World Wars
Year 4: Expansion and Reform; Crisis of the Union — Civil War and Reconstruction
Year 5: South Carolina in American History

Methods:

Summer institutes, seminars, field studies, lectures

Below-average student achievement has put these western Piedmont districts on the South Carolina improvement list. To work toward stronger practice, project teachers will participate in a speaker series, where presentations by historians will be accompanied by training in methods and curriculum development. Book clubs will focus on assigned readings, and weekend study tours will explore cities of historic significance. Summer institutes will provide immersive experiences of content and methods sessions, field studies, primary source research and hands-on learning. Teachers will learn to use primary sources, and they will conduct online discussions about their activities. The 60 teachers will come from the grades where state and American history are taught, although many activities will be open to all 250+ history teachers. Teaching American History in the Lakelands will emphasize the role of individuals in shaping U.S. history, often looking at people from both sides of an issue. Presenters will contextualize topics within the state standards so teachers can easily connect what they're learning to what they're teaching. In the first four years, the content will align with eras defined by the National Assessment of Education Progress, and eras will be covered in the order of need defined by teachers. Year 5 will make connections between state and national history across all eras. Project leaders have selected History Habits of Mind as the methods framework. Teachers will share their knowledge with colleagues through local workshops and at state and national conferences. They will create lesson plans, videotaped lessons, annotated bibliographies and other materials, which will be mounted on the project Web site.


 
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Last Modified: 11/24/2010