Teaching American History

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Kansas 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City, KS
Project Name: Freedom Grows: The Story of the Establishment and Expansion of Democracy in America
Project Director: Mae Leech (913) 279-2287
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Kansas City Public Schools are partnering with Kansas State University, the National Association of Scholars, the Truman Presidential Library, and the Eisenhower Presidential Library to provide a three-year program aimed at improving elementary and high school student achievement by inspiring and instructing teachers about traditional American history. The program will give teachers a variety of professional development opportunities, including summer institutes and graduate courses by historians, as well as workshops and colloquia during the academic year. Each year, the program will focus on a particular period of American history: Year one will concentrate on the growth of freedom as a result of this country's founding. Year two will feature the expansion of liberty to former slaves and westward movement. Year three will examine the growth of personal freedom following World War II. The basic design of the project is to provide intensive intervention for 100 teachers: 50 elementary, 20 secondary, 10 pre-service, and 20 lead teachers.

Grantee: Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, Girard, KS
Project Name: Project Primary Sources
Project Director: Mike Bodensteiner (620) 724-6281
Funding: $930,280
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 37
Number of Students Served: No information available

Based on the American Historical Association's Benchmarks for Professional Development in Teaching of History, this professional development project requires commitments by middle and high school U.S. History teacher participants to enhancing content knowledge of American history, demonstrating techniques learned in the classroom, correlating lessons to state standards, and agreeing to conduct workshops for other teachers. Teachers engage in 1-5-day institutes, workshops, and meeting presentations. Project partners include a consortium of 37 districts, Pittsburg State University, National Archives and Records Administration, and Gilder Lehrman Institute. Content addresses, among other topics: The Era of George Washington; Constitution; North American Slavery; Civil War; Civil Rights; America Between the Wars; and events related to the changing character of American society and culture; arts and letters, education and thought, and religion and values.

Grantee: Wichita Public Schools, USD #259
Project Name: Impact America: A Greenhouse to Grow Knowledge, Understanding and Appreciation of American History in the Wichita Public Schools
Project Director: Gini Johnson (316) 973-4695
Funding: $999,345
Number of Teachers Served: 180
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 18,000

Impact America addresses district-wide evidence of limited teacher content knowledge in American history and need for improved U.S. history instructional skills and student achievement in grades 8, 10 and 11. The program is divided thematically to encompass curricular needs of the different grades. A cadre of 60 teachers per year will participate in workshops, collaborative learning communities and institutes centered on Constitutional principles and on individuals, issues, events, turning points, struggles and achievements in the growth of the United States. Lesson ideas, activities, strategies, and content are shared with other teachers via an interactive website. Ongoing teaching, coaching and conferencing will be provided by Friends University faculty with support online from Friends and Gilder Lehrman Institute. The cadre will do research with additional project partners: Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Eisenhower Museum, Old Cowtown Living History Museum, Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, and Kansas African-American Museum.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005