Teaching American History

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California 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Alameda County Office of Education, Hayward, CA
Project Name: Words That Made America Project
Project Director: Gladys L. Frantz (510) 670-4207
Funding: $999,133
Number of Teachers Served: 90
Number of School Districts Served: 2
Number of Students Served: 15,000

This research-based professional development program brings together Hayward and San Leandro schools with the LEA, Mills College, and Bancroft Library of the University of California-Berkeley to close the achievement gap between district schools and other County schools. The program will cultivate a cadre of elementary, middle and high school teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 knowledgeable about U.S. history and skilled in preparing students of diverse backgrounds to meet state history standards. Activities include a 2-week annual summer institute covering history content, pedagogy, and new resources; a minimum of 24 hours of classroom-based training and coaching to implement new materials; and establishment of an Alameda County Alliance of American History Educators to provide a forum for teaching practice based on historical thinking benchmarks. The 5th grade content emphasizes documents related to ideas that shaped the colonial, Revolutionary, and early national period and conflicts arising out of revolution, expansion, and slavery. The 8th and 11th grade institute covers 1830 through the present and will examine documents related to the Civil War, Amendments 13, 14 and 15, creation of a mass production economy, increasing power of the federal government, and emergence of the nation as a global power.

Grantee: Anaheim Union High School District, Anaheim, CA
Project Name: The American Experience: The History of Democracy in America
Project Director: Jane Davis (714) 999-5601
Funding: $917,179
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 6
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development project—offered by a high school district serving students speaking over 52 languages and coming from a multitude of cultural backgrounds—teams the district and 5 feeder elementary districts with California State University-Fullerton History Department, CSUF Secondary Education Department, Project First, Constitutional Rights Foundation, National Archives and Records, Pacific Region, Nixon Library and Museum, and the Orange County Department of Education. Through institutes, seminars, vertical articulation meetings, and a showcase conference at the end of the third year, teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 will study the Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Civil War to Civil Rights, immigration, foreign policy, post-World War II, Cold War, and Vietnam. The project is designed to improve the quality of the U.S. history curriculum and instruction, boost student achievement, and sustain effective teaching by developing a teacher leader cohort.

Grantee: Baldwin Park Unified School District, Baldwin Park, CA
Project Name: Reconstructing the Past: The Three R's-Reading, Research and Reporting
Project Director: Dave Landers (626) 962-3311
Funding: $999,999
Number of Teachers Served: 108
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 18,000

Participants in this project are immersed in substantive history content through lectures; small group discussions; independent study and research projects; historical reading and research; field trips to historic sites, museums, and libraries; and historical writing opportunities. Partners share responsibility for workshops and colloquia. Each year a 5-day summer colloquium will be led by the National Council for History Education; a 2-day American history institute by the Colonial Williamsburg Educational Foundation; quarterly American history seminars by the Azusa Pacific University History Department and Graduate Library; 3 workshops per year by the Historical Society of Southern California to introduce teachers to local primary sources; 2 workshops annually by the National Archives and Records Administration to teach participants how to find primary documents; and 1 workshop per year by the Autry National Center Museum of the American West to introduce teachers to their research facilities. Content for year 1 will be the evolution of American political democracy from colonial days to the present; year 2, distinctively American tensions between liberty and equality, liberty and order, region and nation, individualism and the common welfare, and cultural diversity and civic unity; year 3, the changing role of the United States in the outside world, relations between domestic affairs and foreign policy, and American interactions with other nations and regions.

Grantee: Borrego Springs Unified School District, Borrego Springs, CA
Project Name: Teaching American History Distance Consortium Project
Project Director: Larry W. Talbert (760) 767-5357
Funding: $978,191
Number of Teachers Served: 60
Number of School Districts Served: 9
Number of Students Served: No information available

Three communities in remote areas—Borrego Springs, CA; Haines, AK, and Keshequa, NY—will partner together to create a consortium to provide their history teachers with professional development to improve the teaching and learning of U.S. history. Working with the National Rural Education Association, 3 more rural districts will be added to the Consortium in year 2 and another 3 districts in year 3. Content is divided so that year 1 covers "The Early Years," year 2, "The Middle Years," and year 3, "The Recent Years." Other partners are the Sheldon Museum, Auburn University, and distance education consultants who will present at the annual one-week Summer Academies focusing on history content, teaching strategies, and technology. Monthly follow-up sessions are conducted through peer counseling. All sessions will be video-conferenced, and 3D websites with chat function will be established. The project tests a concept that offers a solution for small and isolated districts to participate in the Teaching American History program, and will be evaluated by an external evaluator.

Grantee: Chico Unified School District, Chico, CA
Project Name: No Paine, No Gain: A Common Sense Approach to Teaching Traditional American History
Project Director: Cynthia A. Kampf, Ed.D. (530) 891-3000
Funding: $837,185
Number of Teachers Served: 56
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The Chico Unified School District in partnership with North State Historical-Social Science Project, California State University History Department, and Chico Museum, will offer professional development program for teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11. By improving the quality of teachers' instruction, the project is designed to raise the achievement of the district's students, the majority of whom have been unable to demonstrate proficiency in the subject on the California Content Standards Test. In summer institutes and throughout the year, university faculty will make content presentations and offer related sources keyed to the California History-Social Science Content Standards. Participants will learn literacy strategies to help students more effectively read history textbooks, understand arcane primary resources, and write essays using historical evidence. Teachers will also learn to engage students by having them "do" history, rather than simply hearing or reading about it. The 5th grade teachers' program will cover the period extending from the pre-Columbian era to the mid-19th century, with an emphasis on the colonial to Constitutional period. The 8th grade curriculum will focus on the Constitutional period through the end of the 19th century, and the 11th grade teachers will examine 20th century American history.

Grantee: Glendale Unified School District, Glendale, CA
Project Name: Improving the Teaching of American History
Project Director: Joel Shapiro (818) 241-3111
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Teachers in grades 4, 5 and 8 from 12 elementary and 4 middle schools serving primarily immigrant students will participate in a professional development program designed to improve U.S. History instruction, increase student achievement, and develop replicable training. Through a partnership with Glendale Community College and Japanese-American National Museum, the district will provide monthly presentations on history content and research methods, curriculum coaches to assist lesson and unit plan development and feedback, and other collaborative activities aimed at improving understanding of American history and performance levels. Content will address the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Citizenship, Voting Rights, Political Parties, Judicial Independence, Early Exploration, Lewis and Clark, Colonial America, American Revolution, Westward Expansion, Mexican-American War, Slavery and Abolition, Industrial Revolution, Inventions, World War II, Immigration, a host of historical individuals (focusing on biographies), as well as the internment of Japanese Americans.

Grantee: Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, City of Industry, CA
Project Name: American History Institute for Teachers
Project Director: Barbara Nakaoka (626) 933-3810
Funding: $995,449
Number of Teachers Served: 114
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

A partnership between the district and California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is providing professional development to all American history and Social Studies teachers in grades 5, 8 and 11. To improve content knowledge and teaching skills, each of the 3 project years focuses on a different grade through 2-week summer institutes; monthly faculty-to-faculty dialogues; classroom observation and discussions of lessons and student work sessions; historic site visits; use of a project website and bulletin board; 6 follow-up seminars; and fellowship travel opportunities for research. The program enhances technology use by integrating Annenberg/Corporation for Public Broadcasting multimedia resources, telecommunication technologies, and web-based resources. Year 1 focuses on 5th grade content standards—Discovering New Worlds, Exchange, Conflict and Accommodation in Colonial America. Year 2 focuses on 8th grade standards, addressing the founding period, Constitution, slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction. Year 3, focusing on 11th grade standards, examines America's role as a world power in the 20th century.

Grantee: Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach, CA
Project Name: Standards in the HOUSE (History of the United States for Elementary Education)
Project Director: Dawn M. Lakowski (562) 426-6288
Funding: $997,996
Number of Teachers Served: 225
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

In partnership with Rancho Los Alamitos, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, and Long Beach Historical Society, the district is providing a faculty development program designed to improve content knowledge and pedagogical skills of American History teachers. The project is also intended to make traditional history coursework academically challenging and developmentally appropriate for elementary school children. Each year, a cadre of 75 teachers (25 each from grades 3, 4 and 5) will be selected from a cross-section of the district to attend monthly seminars and summer institutes for college credit. Course content will include Country Life: Storytelling and Folklore; Immigration and Money; Citizenship; Survival—A Changing America (Risk and Consequences, Communication, and Dollars and Cents); Going West; Colombus, Coronado, and deVaca; and Heritage: A New Nation, Cooperation, and Communication. Participants will receive "traveling trunks" of historical artifacts and other primary resources to use in the classroom. After completing the program, teachers will implement an instructional model in which they layer the CA History Standards with themes and ideas from the Open Court Reading Series to maximize teaching effectiveness.

Grantee: Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA
Project Name: American History for 21st Century Citizens Program
Project Director: Michelle M. Herczog (562) 922-6908
Funding: $1,819,113
Number of Teachers Served: 396
Number of School Districts Served: 8
Number of Students Served: No information available

This program builds on the office's first Teaching American History program, bringing together 32 K-12 teachers each year from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties with the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA, California History-Social Science Project at California State University, Long Beach, and UCLA School Management Program in a 9-day symposium followed by 9 days of field study at historic sites and museums. Year 1 targets 3rd and 4th grade teachers, focusing on A History of California: A Legacy for Building Local, State and National Communities. Year 2, for 8th grade teachers, focuses on American history through the 19th Century: Expansion, Conflict and Resolution. Year 3, for 11th and 12th grade teachers, explores U.S. History and Geography: Continuity and Change in the 20th Century. Teachers return from field study to receive and learn coaching and create a classroom project. Simultaneously, 100 teachers from Los Angeles, Tulare, Kern, and San Joaquin Counties in grades 5, 8, and 11-12 participate in a Weekend Institute Series on American history that includes content and pedagogy instruction, field study, and lesson plan preparation/website publication.

Grantee: Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, CA
Project Name: History Grows in Oakland: Teaching American History in an Urban School District
Project Director: Stanley L. Pesick (510) 879-8497
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The district is collaborating with University of California Berkeley, Department of History, Social Science Project and Interactive University and with Oakland Museum of California to engage teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11 in intensive, content-rich staff development in American history. Aimed at translating knowledge of U.S. history into effective instruction, the program covers biography; the Mayflower Compact; Religious-state tensions in colonial times; beginnings of slavery; the Constitution; Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence; Spanish-American War; Cold War; Vietnam War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Participants attend monthly meetings, a week-long summer institute, and develop an American History lesson focused on an instructional question they wish to research and share at a regional Teaching American History conference held at the send of the second and third grant years.

Grantee: Sweetwater Union High School District, Chula Vista, CA
Project Name: The Voice of Democracy
Project Director: Sharon Leslie (619) 691-5519
Funding: $646,564
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Collaborating with San Diego State University, the San Diego County Office of Education, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the South Bay Union School District, the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, California will provide a focused, sustained professional development program over a three-year period for teachers from 34 elementary, middle, and high schools. Through summer institutes, the program will focus on the evolution of democracy in the United States, with particular focus on the Revolution and the Constitution. Teachers will learn to integrate vertical thematic content with state and district standards, by working hand-in-hand with university and curriculum experts. These experts from the field of education will help participants develop U.S history lesson plans that help children learn to use primary resources as a historian does. Historical documents will include letters, notes, paintings, speeches, cartoons, slave narratives, court cases, radio addresses, newspaper articles, and ballot measures. An Instructional Coach model will be used for the middle and high school teachers, who will receive 114 hours of professional development for participation in the program, while elementary school participants will receive 72 hours of professional development.

Grantee: Yolo County Office of Education, Woodland, CA
Project Name: Reading, Thinking, and Writing in American History: A K-16 Collaborative
Project Director: Nancy J. McTygue (530)752-6192
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 120
Number of School Districts Served: 6
Number of Students Served: 23,352

This project, partnering the Yolo County Office of Education with the Area 3 History and Cultures Project and the Department of History at University of California, Davis addresses the absence of subject matter preparation of U.S History teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11, and low levels of literacy and achievement rates among native English speakers and English Learner student populations in American history courses. The program includes presentations by professional historians on mentoring and coaching in historical methodology; instruction in teaching strategies; and training in reading comprehension strategies for U.S. history texts and primary/secondary sources. Content includes Federalism, Articles of Confederation, Civil War, Reconstruction, Civil Rights, Manifest Destiny, Monroe Doctrine, Roosevelt Corollary, Truman Doctrine, and Movements of the 20th Century.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005