Teaching American History

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New York 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Buffalo City School District, Buffalo, NY
Project Name: Teaching Traditional American History Program
Project Director: June Simmons Barrow (716) 851-3966
Funding: $940,264
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

In offering its Teaching Traditional American History Program, Buffalo City School District will partner with University of Buffalo (Department of American History and Department of Learning and Instruction), Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Randforce Associates, Inc., and Magi Educational Services, which will conduct an outside evaluation of the program. The project, which will reach the district's 100 teachers in grades 7, 8, and 11 aims to expand teachers' knowledge and use of historical resources, enrich their repertoire of instructional strategies, and enhance understanding and use of classroom assessments to evaluate students' knowledge of U.S. history. Teachers will attend professional development days throughout the school year and participate in a summer institute, which will focus on five areas of U.S. history: Colonial America; the Early Republic; A Nation Divided; Growth and Expansion; and Modern Nation, Global Power. Each day will be divided into three sessions: (1) Traditional American History - taught by professors from the University of Buffalo's Department of American History; (2) Pedagogy - taught by the university's Department of Learning and Instruction; and (3) Resources - taught by a history professor from the university.

Grantee: Community School District 14, Brooklyn, NY
Project Name: District 14 Teaching American History Project
Project Director: Jill Bloomberg (718) 935-4252
Funding: $1.000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 160
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This urban school district serves approximately 17,000 students, 83% of whom come from low-income families. Partnering in this comprehensive professional development program for 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers are the College of Mount St. Vincent, American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the City of New York, and South Street Seaport Museum. Activities designed to improve U.S. history content knowledge and teaching skills include graduate-level coursework, museum studies, seminars, school-based projects, research, curriculum development and historic site visits. Topics will include the Revolutionary War; Emancipation, World War II; Native America; Westward Expansion; Industrial Revolution; Roaring Twenties; Immigration; Slavery; Civil War; and Reconstruction among many others.

Grantee: Greece Central School District, North Greece, NY
Project Name: Institutes for Improving the Instruction of American History
Project Director: Christopher Miller (585)966-2463
Funding: $814,076
Number of Teachers Served: 300
Number of School Districts Served: 10
Number of Students Served: 48,500

Teachers will attend a series of 8 full-day professional development workshops led by professors of American history from Nazareth College, and scheduled throughout the school year. Content for grades 4 and 5 focus on early life in the Americas, roots of American democracy and government, and trends in American history. For grades 7, 8, and 11, workshops focus on the Constitution, rights of Americans, and American foreign policy. Emphasis will be placed on topics with which students struggle, as determined by New York State student assessment data. Staff from Strong Museum will lead a workshop in which teachers will use the museum's artifacts and collections in their study. The workshop series will conclude with a session led by educators from History Alive! Teachers will also learn research-based strategies to improve instruction. Elementary teachers will visit the Genesee Country Village and Museum and the Susan B. Anthony House to gain greater insight into life in 19th-century America. Mentoring support will be provided throughout the year to assist teachers in incorporating content knowledge into daily classroom activities.

Grantee: Jamestown City School District, Jamestown, NY
Project Name: Teachers Discovering History as Historians
Project Director: Judith Guild (716) 483-7112
Funding: $936,684
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 49
Number of Students Served: No information available

This project aims to improve student achievement in southwestern New York State through a 3-year professional development program provided by a consortium of partners. Each summer the consortium will host teachers in a 7- to 12-day summer institute developed around 3 topics: The Growth of Government and Impact of Turning Points; Struggles for Justice in the United States; and United States Foreign Policy and International Relations. Teachers will develop lesson plans and classroom activities, which will be published on a Teachers Discovering History as Historians website. Summer sessions will be followed by professional development in-service conferences in the fall and spring and optional symposia. New York State Teachers Centers in the participating counties provide venues for web-based instruction; become host agencies for the Southern Tier Social Studies Educators Consortium; provide additional professional development trainers; and create a basis for long-term commitments to American history instruction. The program uses the Lectureship Program of the Organization of American Historians. Other partners include St. Bonaventure University, Jamestown Community College, the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, the Chautauqua Institution, and the Robert H. Jackson Center.

Grantee: Community School Districts 17 & 22, Brooklyn, NY
Project Name: Teacher as Historian: A Teaching American History Initiative
Project Director: Barbara Berg (718) 968-6181
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 250
Number of School Districts Served: 2
Number of Students Served: 13,000

This project is designed to improve student achievement in American history; provide enriched content knowledge for teachers at the elementary and middle school level; and involve parents in the learning process by enabling them to actively encourage their children as they study American history and its relevance today. This proposal also introduces a pilot high school component. The project components include: ongoing professional development; a 4-day summer institute for high school teachers and a 1-week seminar for elementary and middle school teachers; networking, mentoring, and website development; and parent education. The school districts are partnered with the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History; City University of New York; and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Content may include: The Era of George Washington; North American Slavery in Comparative Perspective; American Civil War; America Between the Wars; Cold War; Civil Rights Movement; and New York in the 20th Century.

Grantee: New York City Department of Education, New York, NY
Project Name: Framing American History: From Staff Development to Student Achievement in the Study of American History
Project Director: Alice Stabiner (212) 374-2793
Funding: $2,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 244
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

Framing American History represents a collaboration among the Department of Education, Gotham Center of the City University of New York, City Lore, New York's Center for Urban History and Culture, Historic House Trust of New York City, Henry Street Settlement, New York, Brooklyn and other historical societies and museums across the city. The professional development program includes a 40-hour summer institute for 100 teachers in grades 4-8 in year one; a 60-hour Fellows program of intensive seminars for 24 teachers in grades 7-8 in year two; and an ambitious program of formal, mentored dissemination throughout the school system, fully preparing an additional 120 U.S. history teachers in year three. The program targets schools not served by other enrichment programs, focusing on under-performing schools and under-trained teachers. Content addresses the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Great Depression and World War II, and Immigration and Migration, 1830-present.

Grantee: New York City Department of Education, Region IV, Queens, NY
Project Name: Teaching American History: A Collaboration Among Teachers, Scholars, and Museums
Project Director: John-Paul Bianchi (718) 391-8307
Funding: $980,782
Number of Teachers Served: 96
Number of School Districts Served: 40
Number of Students Served: 12,000

U.S. History teachers in grades 7, 8 and 11 from 22 middle and high schools will engage in a professional development program focusing on the themes of Democracy, Becoming American, and America and the World. The themes cover events and turning points ranging from the American Revolution to Beyond the Cold War. To cultivate school-site support and leadership, intensive training will be provided to 24 social studies assistant principals, who will disseminate information about the project at district meetings. Activities include 5 day-long retreats during the school year, a week-long summer institute in which participants develop document-based curriculum units, school-year inter-visitations, and pre- and post-project evaluations intended to improve instructional skills and assessment-based curriculum design. Partners with the district include: American Social History Project at City University of New York, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Television and Radio, and Education Development Center.

Grantee: New York City Department of Education Region 9, New York, NY
Project Name: Voices of America
Project Director: Jill Myers (212) 356-3759
Funding: $927,121
Number of Teachers Served: 36
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The LEA will collaborate with Baruch College, Hunter College, and the Museum of the City of New York to offer Voices of America which is a program designed to improve the quality of American history education in the area's 11th grade classrooms. Twelve teachers from small alternative high schools will be selected in the first year, to be joined by 12 more teachers each consecutive year. History professors from Baruch College and historians and curators from the Museum of the City of New York will conduct 6 full-day content sessions on the major themes in American history. Additional 12 full-day sessions will be facilitated by a history educator from Hunter College, who will help teachers implement methods for integrating the new content into their classrooms. Annual summer institutes combine scholarship with an exploration of New York City's cultural institutes, along with a practicum in non-fiction reading and writing. Content will address six major themes in American history, which meet New York City standards for teaching and learning: Constitutional Foundations; Industrialization; The Progressive Movement; Prosperity and Depression (1917 to 1940); An Age of Global Crisis; and AWorld in Uncertain Times (1950 to present). Teachers will be in email contact with staff at partnering institutions and have access to primary documents, images, and artifacts.

Grantee: New York City Department of Education, Regional Instruction Center 10, New York, NY
Project Name: Foundations of American Democracy
Project Director: Julie Vitulano (912) 521-3628
Funding: $969,903
Number of Teachers Served: 60
Number of School Districts Served: 3
Number of Students Served: No information available

Foundations of American Democracy seeks to reform American history middle and high school classes by creating a cadre of 55 teacher-leaders and 5 coaches who will facilitate U.S. History staff development, and serve as exemplary teachers in their home schools. All social studies teachers in the region are expected to participate in some component of the program. Region 10 students are among the neediest in the city; many are immigrants and English language learners. A quarter of the teachers are working on certification requirements. This project partners the region with Columbia University's History Department, the Social Studies Department of Teachers College, Columbia University, and Whitney Museum of American Art's Education Department. Content examines the Colonial Experience; Civil War; Immigration; Reform Movements; Foreign Policy; and Landmark Court Cases through 18 intensive workshops per year and pedagogical practice.

Grantee: North Rose-Wolcott Central School District, Wolcott, NY
Project Name: Common Ground-Uncommon Perspective
Project Director: David Murphy (315) 594-3143
Funding: $779,260
Number of Teachers Served: 75
Number of School Districts Served: 4
Number of Students Served: 5,000

This effort to improve teaching and learning of American history throughout the Eastern Wayne County Rural Public Schools and Finger Lakes Region teams 4 high-need K-12 public school districts with Syracuse University, State University of New York-Oswego, Wayne County Historical Society and Museum, Women's Rights National Historical Park, National Women's Hall of Fame, and Genesee Country Museum. Targeting teachers in grades 4, 5, 7, 8 and 11, the project includes summer training institutes, school-year seminars, coaching, mentoring, website posting of lesson plans, and site visits. In addition to raising student achievement by improving teachers' knowledge and appreciation for traditional American History, project goals include expanding the model to cover 300 teachers and 100,000 students beyond the 300-mile consortium. Summer institutes focus on American Colonial and Revolutionary History; Framing of the Federal Constitution and Early Years of the Young Republic; Territorial Expansion, Reform Movements; Economic Developments; Civil War; U.S./Canadian Struggles over Citizenship; and Unity and Cultural Minorities.

Grantee: Region 2, NYC Department of Education, Bronx, NY
Project Name: Telling America's Story for Elementary School Educators
Project Director: Philip Panaritis (718) 828-4638
Funding: $998,889
Number of Teachers Served: 453
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 25,000

This intensive professional development project for fourth grade teachers in 41 schools serves low-performing minority, immigrant and English language-learning children located in the poorest Congressional District of the nation. Telling America's Story for Elementary School Educators expands the region's current TAH grant for middle and high school teachers, enabling a K-12 model for teaching traditional U.S. history. Partners include the History and Early Childhood Education Departments at Lehman College, City University of New York, New York Historical Society, Organization of American Historians, and Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. Sixty teacher-historians participate in 3 week-long institutes each year, colloquia on teaching with primary sources, lectures by historians, mini-sessions on transforming knowledge into lesson plans, and become master teachers who lead study groups and book clubs in each school. All 453 grade 4 teachers attend history lectures, forums, discussion, study groups, use the Gilder-Lehrman Institute's documentary resources, and receive museum passes. Institute topics are aligned with critical topics in the 4th grade curriculum including Colonial and Revolutionary America; the Revolutionary War; New Nation; Fundamental Values and Principles of American Democracy; Industrialism and Growth of the New Nation; and Urbanization Implications.

Grantee: Patchogue-Medford School District, Patchogue, NY
Project Name: Conversations on Liberty: Personal Narratives of American Freedom
Project Director: Gloria Sesso (631) 447-3185
Funding: $999,999
Number of Teachers Served: 240
Number of School Districts Served: 3
Number of Students Served: 30,000

To address the problem of student underachievement in American history in grades 5, 8, and 11, this project aims to create a dynamic and self-sustaining program to deepen the knowledge of American history using personal narratives, visual artifacts, and the personal papers of persons who were players in the historic drama. To achieve this goal, partnerships have been established with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the National Council for History Education, Columbia University and State University of New York-Stony Brook History Departments, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Council for History Education. The National Council for History Education will convene 3 collaborative seminars; Stony Brook historians, 6 fall and spring seminars; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1-day fall and spring seminars. Year 1 content focuses on the American Revolution and the Vision of the Founding Period; year 2, Civil War and Reconstruction Period; and year 3, Civil Rights Movement in the 20th Century. In addition, the program will encourage collaboration, planning and networking. The project will be reinforced by an ongoing mentoring program and presentations at history conferences and workshops.

Grantee: Rochester City School District, Rochester, NY
Project Name: Project Pride
Project Director: David Silver (585) 262-8300
Funding: $1,000,000
Number of Teachers Served: 30
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development program brings the district together with St. John Fisher College, Akwaaba, The Heritage Association, Inc. (Underground Railroad), Genesee Country Village and Museum, Rochester Museum and Science Center, and Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum. Project Pride is designed to build a corps of 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 11th grade teachers who are proficient in traditional American history content and pedagogy. It will create a separate course of study to be integrated into elementary and secondary school curricula, addressing 19th century American history with a special focus on the pre- and post-Civil War era, including abolitionism, early civil rights, and the women's suffrage movement. Local historians, archeologists, and researchers are active partners in this program, particularly because the women's suffrage and the early civil rights movements had roots in this region: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, among others, lived and worked in Rochester. Teachers will learn American history content, local resources, and become involved in a network for mentoring by education and history professors at St. John Fisher College.

Grantee: Roscoe Central School, Roscoe, NY
Project Name: My Freedom: An Innovative and Comprehensive Professional Development Program for American History Teachers
Project Director: George V. Will (845)439-3527
Funding: $995,078
Number of Teachers Served: 77
Number of School Districts Served: 8
Number of Students Served: 11,409

A consortium of rural low-performing districts is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution, National Council for History Education, Cornell University, Sullivan County BOCES and other organizations to provide history curriculum development, alignment and integration for teachers in grades K-12. The significant challenges of serving an impoverished and disadvantaged community are worsened in this area by a limited tax base that cannot independently support academic/professional development programs. Through the My Freedom project, enhancement of teacher content knowledge and instructional skills will be provided through multi-day sessions, after-school and summer seminars and institutes; Internet-based learning tools; on-site study at Colonial Williamsburg; American history education conferences; and peer discussion groups. Each project year, historians and experts will work with participants on content highlighting a period of U.S. history that influenced the development of democracy: Foundation of Freedom, Reconstructing a Nation, and Modern Expressions of Freedom.

Grantee: Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES, Ithaca, NY
Project Name: Teaching American History: A Model for University-Secondary Cooperation
Project Director: Trina S. Newton (607) 252-1551
Funding: $983,717
Number of Teachers Served: 100
Number of School Districts Served: 44
Number of Students Served: No information available

This partnership brings together three upstate New York school districts in a 9-county area with historians from the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY Binghamton) and the School of Education and Human Development at SUNY Binghamton. Focusing on pre-service and in-service teacher training, the project aims to improve high school teaching of U.S. History in school districts serving 43,000 students. Week-long summer workshops are supplemented with online workshops, in-service curriculum workshops at individual schools, a book-reading circle, and graduate-level courses for which credit is provided on successful completion. This collaboration extends a TAH program by including a distance-learning component geared to distant rural districts. Content addresses the American Revolution and New Nation; Political and Social Change in the 19th Century; Slavery; Civil War; Reconstruction; U.S. and the Cold War; and the Civil Rights Movement.

Grantee: Ulster County Board of Cooperative Education, New Paltz, NY
Project Name: In Pursuit of Freedom: The American Journey
Project Director: Jane Bullowa (845) 255-1400
Funding: $780,676
Number of Teachers Served: 120
Number of School Districts Served: 23
Number of Students Served: No information available

Forty teachers per year from grades 4, 5, 7, 8 will be immersed in 2 annual week-long summer institutes at State University of New York-New Paltz to improve their U.S. history content knowledge, and will engage in school-year instructional activities offered by the Institute of Higher Education, New York State Museum, New York State Archives and Records Administration, Tenement Museum, Huguenot Historical Society Museum, and the Elting Memorial Library. LearningTimes.org is providing virtual office space for the project and will facilitate access to HistoryQuest, a virtual exhibit involving students sharing local historical documents. Content addresses: Early Communities in New York, Roots of the Revolution and Constitution; A Legacy of Freedom and Justice; Evolution of 19th Century American Economy; New York and the 20th Century; and The American Immigrant Experience.

Grantee: Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, Newark, NY
Project Name: Crossroads of Change
Project Director: Kevin Sheets (607) 753-2060
Funding: $992,432
Number of Teachers Served: 262
Number of School Districts Served: 300
Number of Students Served: No information available

A collaboration of the LEA with State University of New York-Cortland, National Women's Hall of Fame, Women's Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls Heritage Area, and Seneca Falls Historical Society is creating an online professional development system in traditional American history for intermediate and high school teachers. Activities include 120 hours of lectures, discussions, site visits, research, and content development during the summer or after-school symposia. A team of 12 master teachers, historians, and consultants will develop course content in year 1; subsequently, the course development team will work with course developers to convert material to 3 instructor-led online courses including peer review and a web bank of approved lesson plans reaching multiple school districts. The course will be piloted by 200 teacher volunteers from the 300 districts in the AccelerateU consortium. To strengthen historical knowledge and ability to interpret historically, participants will study the period 1825-1861, bounded by the opening of the Erie Canal and start of the Civil War, examining how it affected the nation into the 20th century. To facilitate data-driven instructional decision making by teachers, the project is also creating a web-based display of student history test scores by question.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005