Teaching American History

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New Jersey 2002 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Bayonne Board of Education, Bayonne, NJ
Project Name: Teaching American History to Develop a Community of Learners and United States Citizens
Project Director: Evelyn J. Taraszkiewicz (201) 858-5921
Funding: $470,857
Number of Teachers Served: 65
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: Approximately 6,000 over three years

The Bayonne School District will increase their elementary, secondary and special education teachers' knowledge of traditional American History and enhance their effectiveness in teaching this information to their students. Partnering with St. Peter's College, the Bayonne School District will provide a series of sessions and field trips for American History teachers of students in Grades 5 and 6 and secondary school. The sessions for elementary educators will focus on the chronological view of American History from the Colonial period to the present. Seminars for secondary school educators will focus on historiography, new trends or information on historic topics, and lectures by guest experts focused on the development of the American nation from the American Revolution to the present. Teachers will take field trips to historical sights, including Ellis Island, museums in New York and Philadelphia, and Waterloo Village. In the final year of the project, teachers enrolled in the program will be trained in developing lesson plans to effectively engage students in American History. The student population to be served is an economically disadvantaged and diverse group of first and second-generation immigrants.

Grantee: Gloucester City Public Schools, Gloucester, NJ
Project Name: At History's Doorstep: The Story of Gloucester City and America from Colonial Times to the Present
Project Director: Patricia D. Claghorn (856) 456-4250, ext. 153
Funding: $405,837
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

At History's Doorstep is a partnership among the school district, Camden County College, Historical Societies of Gloucester City, New Jersey, and Camden, City of Gloucester City, and USS New Jersey to bring teachers, scholars and historical resources together in a professional development program for K-12 teachers. The project involves 3 training sessions in the fall and spring and 5-day summer institutes focusing on historical theories, oral history, genealogy research, educational technology and major eras and events in U.S. and local history. Topics such as Origins of the Civil War, Salem Witch Craze, Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, American Involvement in World War I, and Origins of World War II focus on critical analysis skills. Site visits illustrate colonial/revolutionary/underground railroad/Civil War and Reconstruction events. Other sites build understanding of the Spanish-American War, World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam, and the Cold War.

Grantee: Montville Township Board of Education, Montville, NJ
Project Name: Crossroads of American History: Teaching American History Through State History
Project Director: Alan Lucibello (973) 331-7100
Funding: $982,130
Number of Teachers Served: 120
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This partnership linking Montville Township School District with Kean University and the New Jersey Historical Commission targets mandated integration of state history into the teaching of American history in middle and high schools. The project pairs 7-12th grade teachers in a suburban district with teachers from 10 "special needs" districts. Emphasizing primary sources such as diaries, letters, news accounts, pension and church records, census returns, maps, and damage claims, the project includes summer institutes, historic site tours, work at libraries and archives, and development of lessons. Lesson materials will be reviewed by the National Council on History Education. Based on the premise that connecting American with state history makes the subject more interesting for/relevant to students, the curriculum focuses on the battles of Trenton and Princeton as turning points in the American Revolution; the founding of Paterson, NJ, as one of the nation's first planned industrial cities; and Woodrow Wilson's term as governor of New Jersey as a dress rehearsal for his presidency.

Grantee: Bergen County Technical Schools, Paramus, NJ
Project Name: Our Story: A Place-Based Approach to the Teaching of Traditional American History
Project Director: Christine Wallace (201) 343-6000, ext. 3385
Funding: $979,141
Number of Teachers Served: 172
Number of School Districts Served: 3
Number of Students Served: 8,200

The lead agency and its 7 Regional Career Academies, the Englewood K-12 and Garfield K-12 school districts, and Englewood Career Academies will partner with New Jersey Historical Society, Bergen County Historical Society, America Labor Museum/Botto House, and Garfield Historical Society to offer 4-week summer institutes, 2 all-day workshops per year, a statewide American history teaching conference, and a website and listserv to encourage professional networks and resource sharing. The project includes mentoring team teaching, lesson development, historic site visits, and release time and funding to support professional development activities for American history teachers after normal work hours. Based on a "participatory research" approach and in accordance with state standards, the curriculum covers: Colonial Period to 1763, Revolution and Early National Period to 1820, Civil War and Reconstruction to 1870, Industrial America and the World Wars to 1945, the Modern Age, and state and regional history.

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Last Modified: 02/14/2008