Teaching American History

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Kentucky 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY
Project Name: Shaping a New Nation: Turning Points in American History
Project Director: Laura Clifford (502) 485-6542
Funding: $513,131
Number of Teachers Served: 35
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Jefferson County Public Schools is collaborating with University of Louisville, Filson Historical Society, Mount Vernon, Locust Grove, Kentucky Historical Society, and Kentucky African-American Heritage Foundation to develop elementary and middle school teachers' knowledge of historical content, processes, and instructional strategies that enhance student interest and achievement in American history. Participants in this professional development effort attend summer institutes, Saturday seminars, Living History lectures, and engage in historical immersion programs. Resource materials and coaching are provided to aid the participants' grade 5 and grade 8 lesson plans and ability to teach with primary source documents. Summer institute topics include: Causes of the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation; Framers of the Constitution; Bill of Rights; the Whiskey Rebellion; Establishing a Cabinet; George Washington's Legacy; Henry Clay and the American System; Politics in a Frontier State; and many other issues.

Grantee: Letcher County Schools, Whitesburg, KY
Project Name: Documenting American Democracy: A Three-Year Professional Development Program for Teachers
Project Director: Kathi L. Kern (859) 257-3555
Funding: $998,073
Number of Teachers Served: 40
Number of School Districts Served: 12
Number of Students Served: No information available

In partnership with the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Historical Society, and Appalshop (an independent, community-based humanities center), the Letcher County School District will offer a 3-year professional development program for teachers in 12 school districts in a 9-county region of eastern Kentucky. The 40 American Democracy Fellows will be 4th through 12th grade teachers, with priority given to schools that scored poorly in the history section of the Kentucky Core Content Test. Teachers will "do" history by using local sources to investigate historical patterns, through a curriculum that focuses on how the past has shaped the present. The project will stress new teaching strategies and encourage participants to become a community of scholars. Teachers from successful schools will be encouraged to form alliances with those from low-performing schools. Each Fellow will receive the in-class support of a Master Teacher who, along with the project faculty, will provide evaluation. Each year's program will focus on one of three themes of American democracy: Life (History and the Land); Liberty (Expanding American Citizenship), and the Pursuit of Happiness (Industrialization and the American Dream).

Grantee: Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Shelbyville, KY
Project Name: Project USA: Understanding the Study of American History
Project Director: Michael Franken (502) 647-3533
Funding: $993,755
Number of Teachers Served: 40
Number of School Districts Served: 5
Number of Students Served: No information available

Project USA supports American history teachers in grades 5 and 8 in 18 schools through institutes and workshops that balance traditional U.S. history content with research-based delivery strategies, frequent coaching and mentoring, monthly networking/study groups, and historic site visits. Partners in the project include Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, University of Kentucky history professors, University of Louisville, Centre College, Berea College, Transylvania University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Millersville University, Kentucky History Center, Kentucky Association of Teachers of History, and Administrative Office of the Courts. The professional development model is intended to have a high potential for replication and will provide online thematic study units available nationally. Content addresses, among other topics: Colonial America, American Revolution, U.S. Constitution, Westward Expansion, Civil War, Great Depression, and World War II.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005