Teaching American History

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Michigan 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service, Alpena, MI
Project Name: American History - Turning Points
Project Director: Gary Goren (989) 354-3101
Funding: $853,158
Number of Teachers Served: 30
Number of School Districts Served: 4
Number of Students Served: No information available

The American History Project—Turning Points faculty development project is a collaboration among the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District, four rural school districts, the Central Michigan University, Arts and Libraries, the Alpena County Library, and the Henry Ford Museum. It will reach K-12 history teachers in three counties in northeastern, lower Michigan—an area of high poverty, large distances, small populations, and low student achievement scores. Through summer institutes and school-year workshops and colloquia, 30 fifth-, 8th- and 11th-grade teachers will be trained in American history content, and will gain a better understanding of the discipline of historical inquiry. Participants will utilize primary materials from local archives, museums, historic sites, and online resources. Program content will be organized by topic and grade-level and fall into five major historical periods: Colonial and Revolutionary American in the Atlantic World; U.S. History through the Civil War; U.S. History to World War I; U.S. History in the 20th century; and Michigan History in the United States. Participants will form a teacher cohort system called the Corps of Discovery, and develop model teaching units and lesson plans stored on a CD-Rom for replication in other school districts.

Grantee: Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District, Kingsford, MI
Project Name: Building Bridges
Project Director: Dee Benjamin (906) 776-8137
Funding: $696,450
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 52
Number of Students Served: No information available

The Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District, in coordination with four other Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) will join Northern Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, and Lake Superior State University to create a professional development program for K-12 teachers of history in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The program includes summer institutes, workshops during the school year, mentoring, master teacher site visits, and online interaction. The project will use the History Themes Project, which was developed collaboratively with the Michigan Education Portal for Interactive Content. Summer institutes will focus on American history content, while school year workshops will focus on best practices for classroom instruction, including problem-based learning, curriculum mapping, and utilizing primary resources. Topics include National History Strands; Michigan Curriculum Framework; Civilization; Cultural Diffusion; Innovation; and Human Interaction with the Environment. Kindergarten through 5th-grade teachers will explore topics related to the period of American history from Beginnings to 1830. Teachers of history in grades 6 through 8 will study the period of 1763 to 1877, and 9th to 12th grade teachers will focus on 1877 to the present. Teachers will develop a three- to five-day unit plan based upon what they learned in the summer institutes, and will be required to attend the Fall Educator's Forum in November 2005.

Grantee: Okemos Public Schools, Okemos, MI
Project Name: Path to the Present: A Model Program to Improve and Support Modern American History Teaching in Michigan
Project Director: Lee Gerard (517) 349-9460
Funding: $999,878
Number of Teachers Served: 60
Number of School Districts Served: 10
Number of Students Served: No information available

This project is teaching 10 teacher-pairs per year from a diverse group of schools in mid-Michigan at intensive 2-week history academies in collaboration with Michigan State University's Department of History and MATRIX Center for the Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences and Social Sciences Online; ABC-CLIO, H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online; Michigan Historical Center and State Archives; and Michigan Department of Education. The teacher-pairs—1 new and 1 master teacher in grades 9-11—will create model curricula and attend follow-up school-based workshops in which outcomes will be disseminated to other teachers. Participants are intended to form the core of a new Michigan History Teaching Network with online headquarters for continuing education. Addressing crucial events and turning points in traditional American History, year 1 focuses on Growth of the State: U.S. and the World; year 2 on Economic Development and Political Reform; and year 3 on American Society and Culture: Pluralism and Diversity. The project supports methodologies for using primary materials to develop student aptitude in analyzing historical issues.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005