Teaching American History

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Tennessee 2004 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee: Cheatham County Schools, Ashland City, TN
Project Name: Teaching American History in the Tennessee Heartland
Project Director: M. Bruce Gibbs (615) 792-5664
Funding: $634,946
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 4
Number of Students Served: No information available

To help teachers develop the content knowledge and skills necessary to teach traditional American history as a discrete academic subject, this project will create in the spring of 2004 a website and listserv, and publish the first issue of a project newsletter. The cornerstone will be a 1-week summer institute offering graduate credit to participants. Institute I will cover subject matter for grades 4 and 8; Institute II, for grade 5 and high school. Each spring and fall, a 2-day in-service workshop will be held (Thinking as a Historian, and Teaching as a Historian). Partners include the Austin Peay State University's Department of History and Philosophy, Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, George Peabody College, the National Association of Scholars, The Hermitage, the James K. Polk Ancestral Home, the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and the National Council for History Education. Content addresses: Exploration and Settlement of the Americas; American Revolution; Constitution and Early Republic; Age of Jackson, Manifest Destiny; Reconstruction and Westward Expansion; Rise of Urban America; Growth of America as a World Power; Great Depression and World War I; Modern America.

Grantee: Dyersburg City Schools, Dyersburg, TN
Project Name: Teaching American History: The Vertical Immersion Project
Project Director: Dan McDonough (731) 587-7466
Funding: $981,949
Number of Teachers Served: 60
Number of School Districts Served: 35
Number of Students Served: No information available

The school system is partnering with University of Tennessee at Martin, the Pink Palace Museum, Professional Development Center, Tennessee State Library and Archives, and other school systems in west Tennessee to enable teachers in grades 4 or 5, 8, 11 or 12 to develop expertise in traditional U.S. History content, teaching strategies, and other elements essential to meeting high instructional standards. Immersion refers to the project design in which triads of elementary, middle and high school teachers from a single district will be immersed in the subject matter through travel-studies, workshops, or classroom activities. Historic site sessions will take place at Williamsburg, Gettysburg, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Boston Freedom Trail, Independence Hall, National Civil Rights Museum, Shiloh National Military Park, and the Hermitage. Travel studies will broadly address "The Course of American Democracy and Growth and Expansion of America." Non-participating American history teachers will have access to 140 technology-driven instructional units.

Grantee: Metropolitan Nashville School, Nashville, TN
Project Name: Teaching American History Project
Project Director: Todd D. Wigginton (615) 259-8671
Funding: $995,200
Number of Teachers Served: 630
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools will partner with Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville Public Television, the Hermitage (museum), the Tennessee Historical Society, Tennessee Historical Commission, Tennessee State Library, and the Tennessee State Museum to offer this professional development program serving 210 K-12 teachers. The project seeks to raise student performance in an area where the poverty level is 55%, and only 39% of all students have an average mastery of American history. Content in U.S. history will be provided through summer institutes and school-year mini-institutes. Each institute will correspond to one or more of periods of history defined in the Tennessee Curriculum Framework: Beginnings to 1619; Colonization and Settlement; Revolution and the New Nation; Expansion and Reform; Civil War and Reconstruction; Industrial U.S.; Modern America; Great Depression and WWII; Post WWII; and Contemporary America. Teachers will improve pedagogy by developing curriculum materials, improving use of technology, establishing a Teaching American History website, and assembling reading packets and lesson designs, including development of coursework for high school level Advanced Placement history classes.

Grantee: White County Board of Education, Sparta, TN
Project Name: Cumberland Plateau Consortium Teaching American History
Project Director: Michael Birdwell (931)372-3356
Funding: $942,191
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 21
Number of Students Served: No information available

This professional development program seeks to increase teachers' knowledge of history content; to increase teachers' use of primary materials, local history resources, and technology in history instruction; and to increase students' understanding of and skill levels in American history. The centerpiece is a series of 8 one-week summer institutes over a 3-year period. Year 1 summer institutes address Expansion and Reform for 4th and 8th grade teachers, and Modern America for 5th grade and high school teachers. Institutes for years 2 and 3 address Colonization and Settlement (4th and 8th grade), Revolution and the New Nation (4th and 8th grade), Civil War and Reconstruction (5th and 8th grade), Industrial U.S. (5th grade and high school), Great Depression and World War II (5th grade and high school), Post World War II (5th grade and high school), Three Worlds Meet, and Contemporary America. Academic year activities include mini-institutes offered throughout the region, and annual workshops on the National History Day competition. In addition, goals will be addressed by various lectures sponsored by local institutions, by mentoring and lead teachers, and by building a Web site as a hands-on curriculum resource. Partners include the Tennessee Technological University Department of History and Special Collections library, a network of regional historic sites and museums, and the National Council on Public History.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005