Teaching American History

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California 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: San Juan Unified School District, Carmichael, CA
Project Name: Voices-American History Program
Project Director: Lorna Sheveland (916) 971-7334
Funding: $919,014
Number of Teachers Served: 300
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

A district-wide effort to improve teaching and learning in American history, the Voices program covering history content and instructional strategies is available to all American history teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11, but will focus initially on building expertise of new teachers. Summer institutes and coaching/mentoring for participants will benefit from partnerships with the California History-Social Sciences project at the University of California, Davis, History Alive! Teachers Curriculum Institutes, Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance, California State Archives Library and local history museums. The 3-year project will build a cadre of expert teachers to provide training in the future. Creation of CD-ROMS on exemplary teaching strategies and Internet exchange of model lessons expand the reach of the professional development program.

Grantee: Clovis Unified School District, Clovis, CA
Project Name: "Teaching American History"
Project Director: Rob Darrow (559) 327-9635
Funding: $995,400
Number of Teachers Served: 60
Number of School Districts Served: 33
Number of Students Served: 5,600

Clovis Unified School District's project will train Fresno County American History teachers to become content experts in the teaching of American History. The project will bring together 60 5th, 8th and 11th grade teachers from 187 schools in 33 school districts in Fresno County, primarily from high poverty, rural areas. Through a series of collaborative sessions with history experts, teachers receive training in content knowledge and best teaching practices to create standards-based units of learning and raise student achievement and appreciation of American History. Teachers will participate in a four-day summer immersion program, "American History Camp," and six scheduled sessions during the school year covering topics ranging from the Civil War to World War II. Sample activities to enhance teacher American History knowledge include field trips to the Fresno Historical Society-Civil War Reenactment and participation in the National WWII-VFW-National Archives Oral History Project. Clovis Unified School District has established partnerships with Fresno Pacific University, California Department of Education, Library of Congress, Fresno County Office of Education, and Microsoft to provide the content and application expertise required to meet their project goals.

Grantee: Lawndale Elementary School District, Lawndale, CA
Project Name: Liberty Under Law: A History of America
Project Director: Robin Potchka (310) 973-1300
Funding: $991,670
Number of Teachers Served: 120
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 6,007

The LEA 's Liberty Under Law program aims to ensure that American history becomes a core discipline in the district's schools. The program will provide 24 days of professional development for American history teachers in grades 5 and 8 in U.S. history content and teaching strategies that integrate the arts with technology. Project partners include the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, and the Skirball Cultural Center. The program includes an intensive 2-week summer institute for 3 cohorts of 40 teachers each year. In preparation for the institute, participants will attend history workshops, after-school study group meetings, and monthly literature discussion circles with historians, observe classroom demonstrations, and study history standards and assessments. Learning activities fulfill California standards in American history for all grades K-8. Content covers: beginnings to 1607, colonial heritage 1607-1753, movement for independence 1754-1783, forming a new nation 1784-1819, western expansion 1820-1869, Civil War and Reconstruction 1850-1877, and industrialization, immigration and reforms 1878-1914. Periods will be studied through the lens of the U.S. Constitution.

Grantee: Los Angeles Unified School District J, Los Angeles, CA
Project Name: Constructing American Identities in a Pluralistic Society
Project Director: Anita T. Robinson (213) 599-5945
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 240
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Partnering with National Center for History Education, Galef Institute, and Loyola Marymount University, the district will work with a core group of 40 5th, 8th, and 11th grade U.S. history teachers. There are four teachers from a K-12 Learning Center, year-round professional development aimed at improving content knowledge and instructional skills. Charged with mentoring 200 additional teachers, the core group will attend 3 annual history institutes, 6 school-year seminars with historians and master teachers, interact with historians, curators, and archivists, receive coaching on "Different Ways of Knowing" teaching strategies, and develop models of teaching American history as a separate academic subject. Other partners include Huntingdon Library, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Content will focus on the Galef Institute's American history module, "Choice, Chance, Change" and Joy Hakim's History of US textbook series covering notable Americans from all walks of life.

Grantee: Northern Humboldt Union High School District, McKinleyville, CA
Project Name: Humboldt County Teaching American History Project
Project Director: Jack Bareilles (707) 825-2406
Funding: $651,142
Number of Teachers Served: 80
Number of School Districts Served: 34
Number of Students Served: No information available

American history teachers in grades 5, 8, 11, and 12 will participate in this professional development effort to strengthen content knowledge, improve instructional strategies, sustain professional development in U.S. history teaching, and encourage collaboration among history educators. A core group of 40 teachers will take history course work, pedagogical training, and research-oriented trips to historic sites on the east and west coasts. In-service training, summer institutes, and U.S. history conferences are provided for an additional 40+, who will receive mentoring from core group teachers. Project partners include Humboldt State University, Humboldt County Historical Society, Blue Ox Millworks, Sumac Native American Village at Patrick's Point State Park, For Humboldt State Park, Humboldt County Maritime Museum, Clark Museum, Redwood Area History/Social Studies Project, and Stairway Academy. Course work focuses on U.S. history from pre-Columbian times to the present.

Grantee: Grant Joint Union High School District, Sacramento, CA
Project Name: E Pluribus Unum: Reading, Thinking and Writing in American History
Project Director: Nancy McTygue (530) 752-6192
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 65
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 10,000

Through a partnership between the school district, the Area 3 History and Cultures Project, and the University of California, Davis, the E Pluribus Unum program will address teacher subject matter preparation, coordination needs between 2 grade levels of U.S. history teachers, and student literacy needs and achievement rates in grades 8 and 11. The program features mentoring by coaches and historians, teaching strategies for English learners, reading instruction for American history texts, and coaching in methodological strategies for analyzing historical sources.

Grantee: San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA
Project Name: History Links: Citizenship and American History
Project Director: Anthony Alvarado (619) 725-7113
Funding Estimate: $525,527
Number of Teachers Served: 90
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development program targets 8th and 11th grade U.S. teachers in low-performing schools in a 143,000-student district. Its thematic framework-"what does it mean to be a good citizen in different periods of American history?"-is based on The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life, by Michael Schudson (Harvard Univ. Press, 1998). Two summer institutes each year and 8 academic sessions during the school year dealing with content knowledge and instructional skills are combined with creation of teacher teams and opportunities to observe colleagues' classrooms. The LEA's partners are the University of California, San Diego's Department of History and California History-Social Science Project CREATE, Preuss School, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Public Library, and Center for Civic Education. Content covers the American Revolution to the early 20th century, and continuity and change in the 20th century, including civil rights, the World Wars, industrialization, and immigration.

Grantee: Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana, CA
Project Name: Teaching American History Program
Project Director: Linda Kaminski (714) 558-5521
Funding: $879,925
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 60,000

The district is partnering with the University of California, Irvine's Department of History, History/Social Science Project and Humanities Out There Program to offer all American history teachers a professional development program encompassing traditional U.S. history content, a history proficiency assessment, student literacy needs, support for English language learners, and instructional skills. Activities include a 3-week invitational leadership institute on "Notions of Citizenship," a year-long academic seminar series, quarterly workshops on classroom technology applications, and development of collaborative networks/learning communities designed to sustain the program. Seminars address cooperation and conflict in the 1600s and 1700s; colonial America; the Depression and New Deal; 19th century racial history; American Women/Womenhood in the 19th and 20th centuries; and the civil rights movement.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008