Teaching American History

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Michigan 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Flint Community Schools, Flint, MI
Project Name:Freedom Quest: A Study of American History with a Focus on African- American History in the North Using Flint, Michigan, as a Case Study
Project Director:Naomi Bohannon (810) 760-1172
Number of Teachers Served:45
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Flint Community Schools created the Freedom Quest project in partnership with the departments of History and African-American Studies at the University of Michigan-Flint. Other partners include Hofstra University, the Alfred P. Sloan Museum, the Flint Public Library, and the Gennessee County Historical Society. This professional development program aims to help teachers in Grades 4, 5, 8, and 9 to improve their understanding of American history, and to increase their ability to deliver American history instruction in ways that stimulate student interest and raise performance on standardized tests. Annual Freedom Quest activities include summer seminars followed by four workshops during the academic year. Content will focus on American history from 1778—1980. To provide a context for this broad study, each era will be related to African-American history in the North. Beginning in Year Two, the program will be further refined and focused on Flint, Michigan as a case study.

Grantee Name:Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, Kalamazoo, MI
Project Name:Southwest Michigan Consortium on Teaching American History
Project Director:Lynne R. Cowart (260) 385-1522
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:67
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

This professional development project focuses on middle school teachers, particularly untenured eighth grade teachers, following a successful TAH program aimed at high school American history teachers. Partners include the Educational Service Agency, the History Department at Western Michigan University, the Henry Ford Museum, the Sojourner Truth Institute, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, and 67 local school districts. Major components include the analysis of student performance by historians and teachers, eight-day summer institutes, follow-up training for teachers, coaching on using primary artifacts in lessons, and rigorous evaluation of project impact. Content follows the Michigan Curriculum Framework, which delineates ten eras of American history from the Meeting of Three Worlds (beginnings to 1620) to Contemporary United States (1968 to present). Historical perspectives cover time and chronology, comprehending the past, interpreting the past, and judging decisions from the past.

Grantee Name:Lansing School District, Lansing, MI
Project Name:MI Freedom
Project Director:Melinda S. Dickinson (517) 325-6871
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:24,000

MI Freedom is providing history curriculum development, alignment, integration, and professional development for 75 U.S. history teachers serving high-needs students in Grades K-12. Partnering with the LEA are the Smithsonian Institution, the National Council for History Education, Michigan State University, the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education, and other supporting organizations. Activities include after-school and summer seminars and institutes, Internet-based learning, on-site study at Colonial Williamsburg, conference opportunities, and peer discussion groups. Year 1 addresses Foundations of Freedom; Year 2, Reconstructing a Nation; and Year 3, Modern Expressions of Freedom. Within each period, historians work with teachers to examine the lives of key individuals, social movements, and the evolution of individual liberty doctrines.

Grantee Name:Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Muskegon, MI
Project Name:The West Shore Consortium for Dynamic History Instruction
Project Director:David M. Klemm (231) 767-7255
Number of Teachers Served:No information available
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

The West Shore Consortium for Dynamic History Instruction will provide teachers in Muskegon and Ottawa counties with ongoing professional development to improve their knowledge of American history and historical methodology and translate these gains into strategies and tools for improved classroom instruction. The program will target teachers in Grades 5 through 12 and will provide annual colloquia and graduate-level summer institutes as well as opportunities to participate in Focused Learning Communities exploring use of local resources. Program content will focus on national security, slavery and civil rights, and economics. Specific topics are the following: Feeling Secure in America; Beyond Slavery and Civil Rights; and Trade, Tariffs and Taxes. Partnering in the effort are Muskegon and Ottawa Area Intermediate School Districts, Grand Valley State University, and the National Council for History Education. Professional development will be advanced after the grant through presentations at national conferences and onsite historical research opportunities.

Last Modified: 09/29/2005