Teaching American History

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Louisiana 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Caddo Public Schools, New Orleans, LA
Project Name:Caddo Parish (County) Public Schools: Meeting the New Standards
Project Director:Michael J. Sartisky (504) 523-4352
Number of Teachers Served:225
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:45,000

Meeting the New Standards is a collaboration of the Caddo Public Schools, Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities established to: (1) help teachers enhance their knowledge of American history and instructional skills; (2) enable the school system to meet new statewide American history requirements; and (3) improve student understanding and performance. Each year, the program will provide three four-week graduate-level summer institutes taught by scholars from historical research centers and master teachers with expertise in pedagogy. Content is tailored to grade-level history requirements. Key topics will be the colonization of North America (for teachers of Grade 5), the American Revolution through Reconstruction (for seventh grade teachers), and the Industrial Revolution through the present (for high school teachers). Eight follow-up in-service sessions are planned for each academic year. The teachers will produce model lesson plans, curriculum units, resource catalogs, and assessment tools for use across the district and state.

Grantee Name:Lafayette Parish School System, Lafayette, LA
Project Name:Frontiers of American History
Project Director:Amy Trahan (337) 236-8524
Funding:$999, 943
Number of Teachers Served:77
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:30,000

"Frontiers of American History" is a professional development partnership of the Lafayette Parish School System, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Council for History Education, the University of Louisiana/Lafayette, and the Louisiana Department of Education. The program will enhance K-12 teachers' understanding of American history and provide training to improve pedagogical skills. Technology will be woven into classroom activities, and teachers will be encouraged to use primary materials as well as to promote professional networking. Activities will include summer seminars and institutes, multi-day professional development programs, and on-site study in Washington, D.C. Course content follows the founding of the nation, America's expansion, and the creation of a global power. A key focus will be the struggle for freedom. Activities and content are tailored for elementary, middle school, or high school classes.

Grantee Name:Lafourche Parish School Board, Thibodaux City, LA
Project Name:This Is Our Country! These Are Our People!
Project Director:Pam T. Folse (985) 435-4632
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:34,126

Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes will collaborate with Nicholls State University, the Louisiana Council on Social Studies, and the Laurel Valley Village Rural Life Sugar Museum to deliver the "This Is Our Country! These Are Our People!" program. This professional development program will provide standards-based, content-rich instruction for Social Studies and American history teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools. The program's goal is to increase student achievement in American history by enhancing teachers' content knowledge and skills, especially their ability to use primary materials, local resources, a pedagogical support network, and technology in instruction. Each year, the program will provide a summer institute offering graduate credit in history. This will be supplemented during the school year through the following: 11 lectures by professional historians, two field trips to local resource centers, and regular, small group meetings to share resources and best practices. Web-based activities include an interactive "blackboard" and use of an "e-mail the historian" website. The topics range from the discovery of America to colonial times, the American Revolution, the Jacksonian Era, the Civil War, Progressivism, and the New Deal. The content also addresses modern conservatism.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005