Teaching American History

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California 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Clovis Unified School District, Clovis, CA
Project Name:American Foundations and Documents in Action
Project Director:Rob Darrow (559) 327-9635
Number of Teachers Served:200
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

To raise student achievement and enhance teaching skills in American history throughout a six-county region of central California, the LEA is partnering with the California State University- Fresno History Department, the San Joaquin Valley History/Social Science Project, and the American Institute for History Education. The professional development program for social studies and American history teachers will be available to 200 teachers in Grades 5 through 12. Components include a master's cohort, four 2-day colloquia, seven monthly seminars, and annual six-day travel study tours. The theme for Year 1 is Foundations of the American Nation. Year 2 focuses on Documents of the Nation. Year 3 explores American Foundations and Documents in Action.

Grantee Name:Glendale Unified School District, Glendale, CA
Project Name:Conflict and Consensus in American History
Project Director:Joanna Junge (818) 241-3111
Number of Teachers Served:No information available
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

The LEA is partnering with the University of California at Los Angeles History and Geography Project to provide fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade teachers in the district with a professional development program designed to enrich the teaching of U.S. History. Participants will engage in summer institutes, workshops, technology integration, reading groups, history tours, conferences, and mentoring tied to understanding and teaching the following themes: Resolving Conflict in a New Democracy; Internal Conflict and Resolution; and the United States in the Larger World: Conflict and Consequences. The program seeks to expose teachers to divergences of opinion that shaped the nation as well as periods of consensus, and to teach the pedagogical skills needed to integrate reading and writing strategies into a curriculum requiring critical thinking. Year 1 focuses on the Constitution and the struggles of founding fathers; Year 2 addresses the War for independence, the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Year 3 looks at tension between Native Americans and settlers during Westward expansion.

Grantee Name:Glen County Office of Education, Willows, CA
Project Name:E Pluribus Unum: The Northeastern California Teaching American History Project
Project Director:Jennifer L. Metherd (530) 865-1277
Number of Teachers Served:45
Number of School Districts Served:128
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

A consortium of nine northeastern counties fragmented into 128 school districts will partner with the North State History-Social Science Project, the California Council for History Education, and the California State University, Chico. The project will address the lack of preparation in American history on the part of most history teachers and low performance of students on state standards tests. It also aims to establish a permanent structure to support professional development in American history through the California Council for History Education. Summer institutes for teachers in Grades 5, 8, and 11 will be followed by school year sessions, mentoring, conferences, and use of tested model lessons. The content follows traditional American history, covering issues and turning points, influential Americans, and freedom and democracy. Content includes slavery, the American Revolution, and the Constitution in the fifth grade, State vs. Federal authority and Reconstruction in the eighth grade, and the Depression through post-World War II in the eleventh grade.

Grantee Name:Los Angeles County Office of Education, Downey, CA
Project Name:No Citizen Left Behind: Constitutional Heritage for 21st Century Citizens
Project Director:Michelle M. Herczog (562) 922-6908
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:Not applicable
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

No Citizen Left Behind targets middle and secondary school teachers of students in largely under-served settings, including juvenile hall, court and community schools, and continuing high school education centers. The professional development program is a collaboration of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California-Los Angeles, the National Constitution Center, the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, and the Center for Civic Education and Constitutional Rights Foundation. The program will provide participants with in-depth content knowledge and help them develop instructional strategies and curricula adapted to the student populations. Activities include scholar-led field studies and local symposia, mentoring, coaching, and the posting of educators' best practices to the grant website. Content focuses on traditional American history, covering the American Revolution, the Bill of Rights, Westward Expansion, and changes to Constitutional law. Special attention will be paid to preparation for responsible citizenship in a civil society, and the evolution of social, economic, and political conditions in America today.

Grantee Name:Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa, CA
Project Name:TRADITION Project 2
Project Director:MaryAnn O. Salinger (707) 235-3666
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

This professional development consortium to enhance content knowledge and teaching of traditional American history partners two mid-size school districts northeast of San Francisco, two collaboratives of small rural schools represented by their County Offices of Education, Sonoma State University, and Marin American Indian Museum. Participants include 60 fifth grade history teachers who enroll for the entire three-year program, which includes orientation days, annual two-week summer institutes, follow-up institute days, an interactive website, and extensive trips to historic sites. The curriculum focuses on colonial history from pre-Columbian cultures through the American Revolution, emphasizing events, people, significant issues, and turning points. Year 1's theme is American Frontiers; Year 2, Colonial Communities and Institutions; and Year 3, Creation of the American Republic.

Grantee Name:Northern Humboldt Union High School District, McKinleyville, CA
Project Name:Northwestern California Teaching American History Program
Project Director:Jack M. Bareilles (707) 839-6492
Number of Teachers Served:105
Number of School Districts Served:35
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Up to 60 local elementary and charter schools in two counties are participating in this professional development program aimed at the needs of primary grade teachers in an area marked by dislocation, unemployment, and poverty. The counties are home to the two largest Native American tribes in California, along with several smaller tribes. Partners include historians from Humboldt State University, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, four museums, and the White House Historical Association. Based on the success of two previous TAH grants for middle and high school teachers, elementary teachers will receive 100 hours of graduate U.S. History instruction and pedagogical training, mentoring, in-service workshops, and observation. Participants will teleconference with noted historians, read 14 texts, study primary documents, develop lesson plans, and participate in a two-week study trip to historical sites on the East Coast. Content covers transformational moments of political and social change stemming from colonial struggles to the American Revolution, Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates, slavery, antebellum reformers, the Civil War, industrialism, immigration, imperialism and anti-imperialism, the 20th Century, the Civil Rights movement, the New Deal, World War II, and the Cold War. Readings range from Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood to The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Grantee Name:Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, CA
Project Name:Presidents and Precedents: A Constitutional Lens on American History
Project Director:Felicity Swerdlow (626) 795-6981
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

This partnership brings together two school districts challenged by poverty, low performance, and language barriers with the Huntington Library and Constitutional Rights Foundation to increase teacher knowledge of American history, improve history instruction, and build a sustainable model for encouraging teachers to be lifelong learners of U.S. history. Using the Seminars with Scholars model, which emphasizes interaction between teachers and advanced scholars, the program provides 10 days of professional development to annual cohorts of 30 teachers, and 16 hours focused on content knowledge and building the capacity to teach topics mandated by state standards. Every fourth, fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade U.S. or California State history teacher will be invited to participate. Based on teacher-identified needs, the program focuses on strengthening knowledge of Constitutional and presidential history. Some of the topics are Colonial America, the Age of Jackson, President Polk and Manifest Destiny, Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War, and the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

Grantee Name:Placer County Office of Education, Auburn, CA
Project Name:Connections to American History: Understanding Our Nation Through a Local Lens
Project Director:Roni Jones (530) 889-5990
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:10
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Partners in this professional development program for American History teachers in Grades 5, 8, and 11 include 10 rural and suburban school districts, California State University-Sacramento, and Placer County museums and archives. Training is carried out through summer institutes, content colloquia during the academic year, and lesson study teams designed to build effective instructional skills as well as amplify student achievement in and teachers' appreciation for American history. The Summer Institutes of Core Content Learning will be devoted to deepening teachers' knowledge and understanding of major historical problems in American history. Each year, the institutes will focus on improving content knowledge appropriate for the given grade level. The State standards require fifth grade teachers to cover pre-Columbian America to the Early Republic. The eighth grade standards cover the long 19th century, from the Constitution to the First World War, and the eleventh grade standards focus on the 20th century. Fundamental events, key individuals, and issues in U.S. history to be studied are the following: Major Themes of American Freedom, American Biography, and Empire of Laws.

Grantee Name:Riverside Unified School District, Riverside, CA
Project Name:Teaching American History
Project Director:Don Ruisinger (951) 788-7134
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:10,000

In partnership with the National Council for History Education, the Inland Empire Consortium on International Studies, the California State Universities at Fullerton and San Bernardino, the California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, and the National Archives-Pacific Region, the LEA is providing a professional development program for eighth and eleventh grade American history teachers. Close proximity to the Mexico-U.S. border creates a diverse school community that is enriched and challenged by blending cultures, high poverty levels, and linguistic diversity. With numerous newcomers to America, improving the capacity to teach American history effectively is imperative. Activities include week-long summer colloquia, bi-monthly workshops led by historians, yearly primary source workshops, field trips, classroom observations and collaborations with master teachers, monthly professional development meetings during the school year, and year-round website support. Year 1 addresses Our English Heritage, Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, and U.S. Foreign Policy since WWII. Year 2 focuses on the Constitution, Civil War, and Civil Rights Movement. Year 3 examines the Industrial Revolution, the Rise to World Power, and the Impact of World War II.

Grantee Name:San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, CA
Project Name:Citizenship and Identity: Teaching American History with Primary Source Documents
Project Director:Sandra Lam (415) 355-7612
Number of Teachers Served:125
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:8,800

Eighth and eleventh grade teachers of American history will deepen their knowledge of U.S. history and improve history instructional skills through a professional development program partnering the school district with San Francisco State University and the National Archives and Records Administration. The program provides for enrollment in U.S. History graduate courses or enrollment in a 10-session seminar series, document research in a seminar, guest lectures, and dissemination of a document-based curriculum on the project's website. Important historical themes for the project include the expansion of the voting franchise over the last 200 years, as well as the conflict between state and federal authority. The integration of immigrants into the social and political fabric of American culture will be another theme on which the program will focus.

Grantee Name:San Juan Unified School District, Carmichael, CA
Project Name:Knowing History, Thinking Historically: An Apprenticeship Program in American History
Project Director:Judy Smith (916) 979-8772
Number of Teachers Served:72
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:10,000

In collaboration with the History Project, a K-16 consortium including History Departments of the University of California at Davis, California State University/ Sacramento, and the San Juan School District, this project is providing teachers in Grades 5, 8, and 11 with a rigorous professional development program designed to increase student achievement in U.S. history and promote responsible citizenship. The partnership's primary goal is to create a state-of-the-art U.S. history program sustainable beyond the grant. Secondly, it seeks to refine the model for adoption by other districts in the Sacramento Valley and throughout California. Content themes include Freedom Visions, Americans We Should Know, and Constitutional Frameworks. Citizenship responsibilities and challenges are underlying themes. Four-week summer coursework is followed with school-year lectures, development of model lesson plans, historical research, and presentation of lessons to other district history teachers.

Grantee Name:Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana, CA
Project Name:The Making of an American Nation
Project Director:Robert D. Vicario (714) 558-5758
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:8,000

This partnership of Santa Ana Unified School District with the California History/Social Science Project and the History Department at the University of California, Irvine, and the National Archives and Records Administration-Pacific Branch aims to raise student achievement on district benchmarks and State tests through an extensive program in teacher training on U.S. history content, curricular reforms, and literacy strategies for low performers. While 90 teachers in Grades 5 and 11 will participate in training institutes and follow-up workshops, history teachers in Grades 5, 8, and 11 will be vertically teamed to collectively address American History teaching. The program helps serve a low performing, urban district predominated by English Language Learners. Content includes the Constitution, Religion in America, A Nation of Immigrants, the Depression and New Deal, American Women, the Civil Rights Movement, and Post-War America. The first year's program will be organized around the theme, "Democratic Aspirations: Critical Questions in Twentieth-Century American History."

Grantee Name:Wiseburn School District, Hawthorne, CA
Project Name:Social Perspectives: A History of the United States
Project Director:Robin Potchka (310) 973-1300
Number of Teachers Served:78
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Participants in this partnership of two school districts, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, and the Skirball Cultural Center will view the major cultural, political, and legal issues and events tied to California K-8 history standards. Located in a densely populated multiethnic community in Los Angeles County's South Bay, Wiseburn seeks to build appreciation for America's story among a student population of first and second-generation immigrants. The program involves teacher collaborations, seminars, workshops, coaching, needs assessments, and learning sessions with historian-coach teams. The professional development program includes such themes as Change and Continuity of American Democracy, Interactions of Peoples, Cultures and Ideas, Economic Opportunity and Exercise of Freedoms, and the Expanding Role of America in the World. Chronological periods cover Beginnings to 1607 and Immigration and Reforms, 1878-1914.

Last Modified: 11/17/2005