Teaching American History

Current Section
 Office of Innovation and Improvement Home
Utah 2004 Grant Abstracts
Archived Information

Grantee: Davis School District, Farmington, UT
Project Name: History Underscores Belief
Project Director: Norma Jean Remington (801) 402-5328
Funding: $999,913
Number of Teachers Served: 190
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: 11,914

The History Underscores Belief project brings together Davis School District with Weber State University and local historical, technology and education organizations to improve pedagogical skills of history teachers in grades 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 and 12, and boost student achievement, participation, and interest in American history in all 76 district schools. While the project directly serves 190 teachers, the systemic change is anticipated to reach all 452 history teachers and 60,025 students. Teacher instruction will include professional development training sessions, experiential learning activities, student activities, materials development, and technology use delivered through workshops, summer institutes, teacher-sharing sessions, two trips, and an annual symposium. Project goals ensure that American history will be taught as a separate subject through five intertwining segments: Government (year 1); Peace and Conflict (year2); and Expansion (year 3). Teachers will learn how historians conduct research and provided with materials on local and national initiatives that can be immediately integrated into the curriculum.

Grantee: Washington County School District, St. George, UT
Project Name: Utah Teachers Academy for American History
Project Director: Chris Snodgress (435)673-3553
Funding: $969,747
Number of Teachers Served: No information available
Number of School Districts Served: 1
Number of Students Served: No information available

This project will create a Community of Practice incorporating 5 characteristics of effective professional development: activities are conducted in school and linked to school-wide improvement efforts; teachers are actively involved in planning, setting goals, and selecting learning activities; self-instruction is emphasized and differentiated; training opportunities are offered; ongoing support and resources are provided; and training is concrete, with ongoing feedback, supervised trials, and assistance on request. A 5-week academy will be convened, supplemented by study group meetings, customized on-line courses, DVD-based virtual mentoring, and 20 half-day released time periods for teacher community interaction. Major content themes are: Conflict, Change and Expansion, and Captivity and Human Rights. Within each, participants will explore significant issues; effects on individual citizens; application of the principles of freedom and democracy as articulated in founding documents; America's struggles and achievements; and U.S. social; political; and legal institutions and relations. The project partners with the LEA include Southern Utah University, Utah Heritage Foundation, and Utah Historical Society. The partnership is committed to creating a Utah Academy of American History to enhance and sustain effective teaching in American history.

Last Modified: 06/08/2005