Teaching American History

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Connecticut 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Hartford Public Schools, Hartford, CT
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Ilene Lowenstein (860) 695-8665
Funding: $991,063
Number of Teachers Served: 52
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 11,400

Combating a 47% failure rate of 11th grade history students for whom a passing grade is required for graduation, the district, Trinity College, Connecticut Historical Society, and museum educators will partner to provide American history teachers in grades 8, 10, and 11 with introductory and advanced professional development workshops and lectures designed to expand teacher content knowledge and improve the quality of teaching. A teacher-in-residence, historian-in-residence, master teachers, and project meetings and newsletters will help transfer innovations and methods to all history classrooms. Resource Activity Packets make reproductions of primary sources, artifacts, music and other learning available to all history teachers, enhancing the teaching of early American history in 8th grade, 19th century in 10th grade, and 20th century in 11th grade. Intended as a model approach for underachieving schools, the project will be presented at state historical conferences for possible adoption by other districts.

Grantee: Stratford, CT Board of Education, Stratford, CT
Project Name: Teaching American History as a Dynamic Discipline
Project Director: Alice J. Daniels (203) 966-8478
Funding: $830,790
Number of Teachers Served: 50
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 3,600

The district is partnering with Fairfield University, New Britain Museum of American Art, the Organization of American Historians, and Yale University to provide an immersion program in traditional American history for secondary teachers. Overarching goals include improving students' appreciation of U.S. history as a dynamic discipline, ability to recognize multiple perspectives, support interpretations with evidence, identify concepts, and comprehend changes in interpretations over time. After-school interactive presentations by historians, workshops, summer institutes, technology training, and creation of a professional network are combined with visits to archival sites and documentation of classroom practices, resources, and historian presentations to preserve and build on project findings. Content will finalized in collaboration with participants, but tentative themes are: "American history as seen through primary sources and local history," "Multiple perspectives in the 19th century," The 20th century and changing points of view."

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008