Teaching American History

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Washington 2010 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:

Edmonds School District 15

Project Name:

"To Secure the Blessings of Liberty": Analyzing American History Through Primary Sources

Project Director:

Sarah Schumacher

Funding for Years 1-3:

$999,845

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

55

Number of School Districts Served:

1

Grade Levels:

4, 5, 8, and 11

Partners:

University of Washington, University of Virginia, National Archives and Records Administration-Pacific Alaska Office, Museum of Flight, Museum of History and Industry; Densho Project, Organization of American Historians, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Topics:

Year 1: European Contact to the Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War to War of 1812
Year 2: Conflict and Change, Immigration and Migration
Year 3: Industry and Invention, American Foreign Policy
Year 4: Cultural Groups and Civil Rights
Year 5: Individuals and Movements — American Voices

Methods:

Kickoff sessions, workshops, conferences, Lesson Study, coaching and observations, online collaboration, summer field studies

This district north of Seattle has seen a shift in demographics in recent years. Today, about 30 percent of students come from families in poverty, 13 percent receive special education services and the number of bilingual students has jumped; these factors all contribute to achievement gaps. Each project year will begin with a 3-day summer kickoff session led by experts and historians; it will be followed by 11 full-day in-service workshops that will include lectures and book discussions with guest historians, intensive content learning and pedagogical training, and grade-level group meetings to conduct lesson study. The initial cohort of 35 teachers will participate in Years 1 to 3, and a new cohort of 20 will participate in Years 4 and 5; this second cohort will be mentored by 10 members of the first cohort. The course of study will address two essential questions: (1) What is the role of the citizen in democracy? (2) What is the experience of the citizen in society? While exploring these questions, the content strand will focus on traditional American history, paying attention to state standards for appropriate grade levels. The pedagogical strand will focus on six teaching methods related to the use of primary sources, historical thinking and communication. Using Response to Intervention and the Lesson Study process, teachers will develop lessons, assessments and other resources.
Teacher-generated lessons and materials as well as videos of cohort teachers using best practices will be published on three Web sites and publicized through professional conferences.


Grantee Name:

Washougal School District 112-6

Project Name:

Teaching as Historians

Project Director:

Carol Boyden

Funding for Years 1-3:

$996,999

Number of Teachers Served Overall:

125

Number of School Districts Served:

3

Grade Levels:

3-12

Partners:

Washington State University-Vancouver, Vancouver National Historic Trust, Clark County Museum

Topics:

Citizenship, Economic and Social practices
Legal Slavery, Abolition and Civil War
Citizenship and Immigration
Constitutional Issues: Civil Liberties
Liberty and Justice for All: Civil Rights
Civil Liberties and Protests

Methods:

Symposia, lectures, field studies, mentoring, coaching

Two of these southern Washington state districts collaborated on a previous Teaching American History grant; it was so successful that teachers on a waiting list made it clear that extending the project — and involving another district — would have value. Each year, teachers will attend seven full-day symposia of scholarly lectures and lesson modeling. In monthly study groups, teachers from all three districts will work as a learning community to solve problems, reflect on practice and conduct lesson study. During a 5-day summer field study, teachers will work directly with historians, archivists and curators at local and regional sites. Five 1-year cohorts of 25 teachers will participate; teachers will be those who need to reach highly qualified status or who come from the lowest performing schools. The project theme of "Towards a More Perfect Union" will guide the exploration of civil rights throughout U.S. history. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model will be the overarching framework for more than 100 hours of annual professional development. Led by expert historians and master history educators, teachers will learn History Habits of Mind and study traditional American history by addressing essential questions about the ideals of democracy, liberty and equality. To promote a culture of instructional excellence and collegiality, project staff will introduce professional learning communities, lesson study and one-on-one mentoring/coaching by teachers who participated in the previous grant. All state teachers will have access to project-created products, including standards-based lesson plans and assessments, activities based on historical texts, in-service units for future use, and classroom kits that incorporate history and archeology for hands-on experiences.


 
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Last Modified: 11/22/2010