Teaching American History

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Nebraska 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Educational Service Unit #2, Fremont, NE
Project Name: Westward Waters-A Study of the Significance of Western Waterways in the History of the Nation
Project Director: Diane M. Wolfe (402) 721-7710
Funding: $845,484
Number of Teachers Served: 50
Number of School Districts Served: 40
Number of Students Served: No information available

Westward Waters is an extensive staff content enrichment program for K-12 American history educators. Built around Thomas Jefferson's vision regarding the Louisiana Purchase, the content addresses the significance of Native Americans to the growth of the West, importance of the Missouri River for Lewis and Clark, and the roles of the Platte River and other waterways in westward expansion. Through graduate-level course work, "place-based" workshops at historic sites, development and web dissemination of lesson plans, and on-line college courses for any individual beyond the grant period, the project aims to reach all American history teachers in 40 districts as well as create a cadre of master history teachers. Project partners include the Eastern Nebraska Distance Learning Consortium and Wayne State College.

Grantee: Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, NE
Project Name: Bringing American History Scholarship to the Classroom
Project Director: Deila Steiner (402) 436-1988
Funding: $970,260
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 31,581

The district will partner with Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) and the Nebraska State Historical Society to improve K-12 teachers' knowledge of U.S. history and develop skills aimed at boosting student achievement. Participants earn 12 hours of graduate credit from NWU for courses in Fundamentals of American History to and since 1877, a primary sources laboratory course, and History Alive I and II, covering research strategies and teaching tactics. National History Day, the Center for Civic Education, and Literacy Leaders Institute 2002 provide additional training on teaching strategies. Under a teacher-leader model, courses are free of charge, and participants will lead professional development sessions for peers. The project also provides training and study time to develop analytical tools and engage in research. Visiting scholars and workshops supplement courses. Supporting institutions include the Nebraska State Council for Social Studies and Nebraska Department of Education. Graduate courses cover fundamentals of American history before and after 1877, focusing first on the roots of American democracy and secondly, on leadership, issues and events bringing the U.S. to the 21st century.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008