Teaching American History

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Montana 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Anaconda School District No. 10, Anaconda, MT
Project Name: American History Teachers: A New Corps of Discovery
Project Director: James D. Whealon (406) 563-6361
Funding: $757,611
Number of Teachers Served: 90
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Through a series of summer institutes that include almost 4,000 miles of travel by bus, this project aims to immerse K-12 teachers in the Lewis and Clark Expedition experience. Institute study, workshops and activities will be supplemented by rigorous training on research methods, instructional techniques and classroom strategies for teaching U.S. history. An American History Roundtable will be created to promote networking among historians, teaching experts and classroom teachers, along with a website to make project materials available to all teachers. Led by historian Harry Fritz, the institutes involve travel along the Lewis and Clark route, taking advantage of "roadside classrooms"-historic sites for experiential learning and research. Partnering with the LEA are the University of Montana's History Department, Education Department and Montana College of Technology and Mineral Science, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Hearst Free Library, and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Content includes: Thomas Jefferson's constitutional republic and Cameahwait's way of life in 1804, slavery and the Louisiana Purchase, Napoleon and Louisiana, the course of western empire, Plains Indians, the horse/buffalo/warrior-society culture, Native American tribes in Montana, and other topics.

Grantee: Bozeman School District #7, Bozeman, MT
Project Name: Teaching American History
Project Director: Robert W. Rydell (406) 994-4395
Funding: $992,106
Number of Teachers Served: 36
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Montana State University's Department of History and Philosophy, Museum of the Rockies and Native American Studies Program, the National Council for History Education, and the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory will partner with the district in a professional development program for K-12 teachers. Addressing themes of cultural contact and the American republic through colloquia and summer institutes, the program covers the Lewis and Clark Expedition, national expansion in the 19th Century, and the American West in the 20th Century. Underserved and at-risk middle and high school students are a major focus, along with K-4th grade students who traditionally receive little history training.

Grantee: Missoula County Public Schools, Missoula, MT
Project Name: Populations on the Move to Build a Nation
Project Director: Marilyn Ryan (406) 728-2402
Funding: $492,524
Number of Teachers Served: 38
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 9,579

The district and its rural consortium schools are partnering with the University of Montana, Montana Committee for the Humanities, Missoula City-County Library, and Fort Missoula Historical Museum to stimulate student learning in grades 5, 8 and 11, increase teacher knowledge of American history, and build a professional model. The model includes summer institutes for teachers, lesson creation, field testing and revision, mentoring, opportunity to discuss material with a professional historian, and scholarly interactions-including book-study groups-among elementary, middle and high school teachers from 35 town and village schools. Subject matter addresses migrations across North America, examining consequences for Native Americans. Three periods will be explored: population movements on Appalachian frontiers in the 18th century; movement onto the central heartlands in the early 19th century, and movements west to the Pacific in the late 19th century.

Grantee: Shelby Public Schools, Shelby, MT
Project Name: Thinking Through American History
Project Director: Fred B. Seidensticker (406) 434-2745
Funding: $997,896
Number of Teachers Served: 80
Number of School Districts Served: 73
Number of Students Served: No information available

The Golden Triangle Curriculum Cooperative of small, often isolated, rural school districts will address professional development in American history instruction in grades 5-12 in partnership with the University of Montana, Montana Historical Society, U.S. Forest Service Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and Montana Office of Public Instruction. The project aims to generate excitement about the history curriculum, build content knowledge and teaching skills, increase student proficiency, and develop materials and lasting alliances among teachers, scholars, historians, and tribes. Summer history institutes focus on history benchmarks of the Montana Social Studies Standards with which teachers want content and teaching assistance: three worlds meet, expansion and reform, emergence of modern America, post-war U.S., development of the industrial U.S., and contemporary U.S. Workshops, site visits, mentoring, research, and web-based materials will supplement participants' understanding of historical perspectives.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008