Teaching American History

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Connecticut 2003 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Bridgeport Public Schools, Bridgeport, CT
Project Name: Essential Understanding in American History
Project Director: Teresa A. Carroll (203) 332-2709
Funding: $814,582
Number of Teachers Served: 150
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 3,642

The grantee will conduct five cycles of professional development for teachers of grades 4 and 5 focusing on Colonization and Settlement, Revolution, the New Nation, Expansion and Reform, and Civil War and Reconstruction. Activities include 3-day summer institutes, four 2-hour workshops to promote instruction of writing through American history content, four 2-hour workshops to use resources from websites, and field trips to places such as Colonial Williamsburg. Partners are: the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS), Collins Education Associates, and Cooperative Educational Services.

Grantee: Danbury Board of Education, Danbury, CT
Project Name: Partners in American History: Strengthening Teacher Content Knowledge to Enhance Student Learning
Project Director: Clare Barnett (203) 797-4709
Funding: $915,340
Number of Teachers Served: 120
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Teachers of 8th to 12th grades are guided in their professional development in five thematic topics by faculty from one or more of the partners-Western Connecticut State University, the University of Bridgeport, the University of Hartford, and the Danbury Scott-Fanton Museum and Historical Society, Inc. Two one-week summer academies offer discussions organized around the themes, Foundations of the United States, Defining the Nation, Rise to World Power, Economics, and Immigration and Minorities. On four district-mandated days, the 40 teachers partner with Scholars-in-Residence to introduce other teachers to this project. They conduct workshops at schools and share lessons and resources they have gathered. In the third year, two one-week summer programs (40 additional teachers for each), form collaborative teams to assess teaching content needs in middle and elementary schools.

Grantee: New Haven Public Schools, New Haven, CT
Project Name: Connecticut Urban Consortium for the Teaching of American History
Project Director: Willie Freeman (203) 946-2012
Funding: $925,990
Number of Teachers Served: 108
Number of School Districts Served: 3
Number of Students Served: No information available

Constitutional history is emphasized in this 80-hour professional development program which partners New Haven, Waterbury, and New London school districts with Southern Connecticut State University, Yale University, Gilder Lehrman Center, New Haven Colony Historical Society, Connecticut College, University of Connecticut, Charter Oak State College, Old State House and Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Connecticut State Department of Education, and New England History Teachers Association in creating 36 new K-12 grade master teachers in U.S. History each project year. Greater numbers of teachers benefit from mentoring and creation of a project website; new teachers are especially targeted for mentoring. Curriculum enrichment support includes weeklong summer institutes, symposia and dinners including keynote presentations, Saturday seminars, site visits, and increased participation in National History Day and the New England History Teachers Association. Content themes cover "nationhood" including the Declaration of Independence and American Revolution; representative government, including universal suffrage; separation of powers, including term limits, presidential powers, judicial review, and legislature's power of the purse; federalism vs. states' rights including the Civil War; religious freedom; free speech; equal rights in education, housing, and work; privacy vs. government control; territorial expansion; trade and defense; nations within a nation; and crime and punishment. Each theme also explores related Connecticut history.

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Last Modified: 02/15/2008