Teaching American History

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Tennessee 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Anderson County Board of Education

Project Name:

Enduring Visions: Historical Views of Americans and Their World

Project Director:

Lisa N. Oakley

Funding for Years 1-3:

$968,809

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

63

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of Tennessee, Knox County Archives, Library of Congress, National History Day, East Tennessee Historical Society

Topics:

Three Worlds Meeting; Colonization and Settlement; Revolution and the New Nation; Expansion and Reform; Civil War and Reconstruction; the Industrial United States; Modern America; the Great Depression and World War II; Postwar United States; Contemporary United States

Methods:

Institutes, field studies, coaching

In these Tennessee districts, most students have demonstrated low achievement in social studies and U.S. history, and the history teachers do not have access to content-related professional development. Each year of the project, teachers will participate in four mini-institutes that provide historical thinking themes, such as perspective and sequencing. One of the institutes will feature a keynote presentation on different strategies, including using film or art in teaching. Teachers will attend a 2-day institute that includes visits to local sites and focus groups on various strategies, such as technology, use of student achievement data and National History Day. Hands-on learning experiences will be provided through summer institutes in Boston, Washington, D.C., and additional locations. The teachers will be paired in cohorts of 4th/8th grades and 5th/11th grades. The teachers will learn about founding documents, primary sources, local history resources, technology tools, National History Day and other research-based teaching strategies. A Web site will host the project's products, including videos of historian presentations using integrated hands-on activities, footage of teachers modeling proven teaching strategies and teacher-created materials, such as piloted lesson plans and primary source document readers organized by themes, eras and grade levels.

Grantee Name:

Bedford County Schools

Project Name:

Leading Educators Through America's Past

Project Director:

Betsy Norris

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,981

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

100

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee History Museum, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, WebLessons, Teachers' Curriculum Institute, Ed Consulting, Colonial Williamsburg

Topics:

Year 1: Colonization and the Road to Revolution (1607-1775)
Year 2: The American Revolution and the Creation of a Nation (1776-1790)
Year 3: Early Years of the Nation and the Road to Civil War (1791-1865)
Year 4: Emergence of Modern America (1866-1945)
Year 5: Postwar/Contemporary United States (1946-Present)

Methods:

Lectures, institutes, summer institutes, peer mentoring, guided readings, online discussions, field institutes

At these districts in south central Tennessee, student performance on history tests is falling and teachers have little access to professional development. Project activities each year will include six half-day historical encounter sessions; a historical immersion field institute (e.g., studying genealogy at Ellis Island, exploring resources at the Library of Congress); mentoring and observation opportunities; and additional sessions of online and in-person learning. Three times during the grant period, teachers will participate in a 2-day summer colloquium that examines a theme through rare documents, images, interpretive text and primary resources. Two cohorts of 50 teachers each will participate, with teachers coming from high-need schools; K-5 teachers will make up the first cohort in Years 1 and 2, and teachers of Grades 6-12 will make up the second in Years 4 and 5. The cohorts will overlap during Year 3, with the first cohort providing support to the second as they share strategies, instructional materials and content information. Five teachers each year will be selected as teacher leaders; they will attend training at Colonial Williamsburg in preparation for delivering future training to teachers outside the project. Teachers will be introduced to strategies designed to engage students in learning, including problem-solving strategies, writing for understanding and other approaches taught by the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. A project Web site and a Moodle interface will provide access to standards-based lessons, videos of historical encounter sessions and links to research-based activities. Project partners will collaborate to produce an online, theme-based professional development program that can be shared with other Teaching American History programs and teachers.

Grantee Name:

Bledsoe County Schools

Project Name:

Consortium of Rural Educators Teaching American History

Project Director:

Janis A. Kyser

Funding for Years 1-3:

$998,667

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

170

Number of School Districts Served:

5

Grade Levels:

K-12

Partners:

Lee University, Museum at Five Points, National Archives Southeast Region, Howard Baker Center on Public Policy, Red Clay State Park, Rhea County Historical Society, Chattanooga History Center, Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Center for Civic Education

Topics:

Year 1: American History to 1774, Revolutionary War to War of 1812
Year 2: Expansion, Slavery, Mexican-American War, the 1850s;  Civil War to World War I
Year 3: The Two World Wars, The Cold War to the 1990s
Years 4 and 5:  Follow-up activities

Methods:

Graduate classes, colloquia, practicum workshops, conferences, summer institutes, summer study trips

The consortium districts are in a high-poverty, southeastern Tennessee area where teachers have no access to American history professional development and where nearly 30 percent of high school seniors score below proficiency on the state history exam. During the initial 3 years, teachers will participate at different levels, with all 170 teachers taking part in two professional development sessions and one summer institute each year. In addition, 30 high implementation (HI) teachers will take graduate classes that lead to degrees; HI teachers will present at conferences and participate in summer study trips. The HI teachers will be assigned to 30 partner teachers, whom they will mentor. The 10 participating preservice educators will take classes alongside veteran teachers and will complete their internships with HI teachers. In Years 4 and 5, the HI and partner teachers will work with project staff to lead follow-up activities. Teachers and, by extension, their students will understand that history is not a fixed concept. Participants will be encouraged to use a data-informed, teaching-reteaching model that employs formative and summative assessments; this model will be supported by training in such strategies as historiography, use of primary source documents, review of student performance data and integration of digital materials. Project-generated best practices in teaching strategies, evaluation tools, lessons and materials will be shared in two ways: (1) presentations at the Tennessee Council for Social Studies conference and at national conferences such as the Organization of American Historians, and (2) posting materials on three Web sites to make them available to local, state and national audiences.

Grantee Name:

Hamilton County Schools

Project Name:

River City Teaching American History Program

Project Director:

Janis A. Kyser

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,156

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

170

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4-12

Partners:

Lee University, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Center for Civic Education, National Archives and Records Administration-Southeast Region, University of Tennessee, Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, Museum Center at Five Points, Red Clay State Park, Rhea County Historical and Genealogical Society, Chattanooga History Center, Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association

Topics:

Year 1: Teaching American History to 1774; Revolutionary War to War of 1812
Year 2: Expansion, Slavery, Mexican-American War, the 1850s; Civil War to 1919
Year 3: American History 1920-45; The Cold War to the 1990s
Years 4 and 5: Follow-up activities

Methods:

Colloquia, summer institutes, summer study trips

 

Like adjacent counties, this area of southeastern Tennessee is high poverty; many students leave high school with poor understandings of American history, and their teachers have no professional development program. All participating teachers will receive at least 280 hours of professional development, with high implementation (HI) teachers receiving about 400 additional hours during three years of colloquia and practicums as well as several summer study trips. Of the 170 teachers involved, 30 will be designated as HI teachers; they will receive in-depth training, including Web-based courses, to become history leaders for the district. Another 30 partner teachers will participate in professional development and be mentored by HI teachers. The remaining 110 consortium teachers will receive professional development. The project’s underlying theme is making connections — teachers will connect to one another, to professional historians and to historic sites and events, thus bringing heightened levels of knowledge and enthusiasm to their teaching. All professional development sessions will deliver content related to the topic for the year, with the goal of helping teachers learn to practice history as historians do; readings will be a mix of factual (e.g., Joseph Ellis' Founding Brothers) and fictional (e.g., Arthur Miller's The Crucible), selected to provide insights, perspectives and teaching tools. Instructional strategies will include using historical habits of mind, primary sources, backward mapping, authentic assessment, content-area reading, research and interpretation. Project-generated best practices, evaluation tools and lessons will be reviewed by history professors and state history specialists, then posted on three Web sites, including the Gilder Lehrman site, and promoted at professional conferences.

Grantee Name:

Sequatchie County School District

Project Name:

Sequatchie County Teaching American History Program

Project Director:

Henry Camp

Funding for Years 1-3:

$499,956

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

90

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4-12

Partners:

Lee University, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Center for Civic Education, National Archives and Records Administration-Southeast Region, University of Tennessee, Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, Museum Center at Five Points, Red Clay State Park, Rhea County Historical and Genealogical Society, Chattanooga History Center, Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association

Topics:

Year 1: Teaching American History to 1774;  Revolutionary War to War of 1812
Year 2: Expansion, Slavery, Mexican-American War, the 1850s; Civil War to 1919
Year 3: American History 1920-45; The Cold War to the 1990s
Years 4 and 5: Follow-up activities

Methods:

Colloquia, summer institutes, summer study trips

 

In this high-poverty area of southeastern Tennessee, approximately one-third of all high school students fail to attain proficiency in American history, and their teachers have no history professional development program. All participating teachers will receive at least 280 hours of professional development, with high implementation (HI) teachers receiving about 400 additional hours during three years of colloquia and practicums as well as several summer study trips. Of the 90 teachers involved, 20 will be designated as HI teachers; they will receive in-depth training, including Web-based courses, to become history leaders for the district. Another 20 partner teachers will participate in professional development and be mentored by HI teachers. The remaining 50 consortium teachers will receive professional development. The project's underlying theme is making connections — teachers will connect to one another, to professional historians and to historic sites and events, thus bringing heightened levels of knowledge and enthusiasm to their teaching. All professional development sessions will deliver content related to the topic for the year, with the goal of helping teachers learn to practice history as historians do; readings will be a mix of factual and fictional, selected to provide insights, perspectives and teaching tools. Instructional strategies will include using historical habits of mind, primary sources, backward mapping, authentic assessment, content-area reading, research and interpretation. Project-generated best practices, evaluation tools and lessons will be reviewed by history professors and state history specialists, then posted on three Web sites, including the Gilder Lehrman site, and promoted at professional conferences.


 
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Last Modified: 11/24/2010