Teaching American History

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Montana 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Shelby Public Schools, Shelby, MT
Project Name:Thinking Through American History
Project Director:Fred B. Seidensticker (406) 684-5523
Number of Teachers Served:15
Number of School Districts Served:72
Number of Students Served:10,636

The Golden Triangle Curriculum Cooperative (72 small, rural school districts), in collaboration with the University of Montana History Department and the Montana Historical Society, is embarking on major curricular reform in American history instruction in Grades 5-12. Focusing on new and early career teachers with little preparation in U.S. history, the program will increase capacity to provide substantive history content, and use learning strategies including immersion experiences, library linkages, virtual trunks, Webquests, and scaffolding resources. Professional development activities include a seven-day summer institute, use of history learning trunks, field trips, research, development of lesson plans, collaborative networks, and virtual mentoring. The content encompasses the following: Three Worlds Meet, Expansion and Reform, Civil War and Reconstruction, Development of the Industrial U.S., and the Emergence of Modern America. Events, issues, and individuals are also highlighted in training covering the Great Depression and World War II, Postwar U.S., and Contemporary U.S.

Grantee Name:Twin Bridges Public Schools, Twin Bridges, MT
Project Name:Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest
Project Director:Sally Thompson (406) 243-5889
Number of Teachers Served:30
Number of School Districts Served:233
Number of Students Served:68,000

Time Travelers is a professional development program for social studies and American history teachers that integrates the exploration and development of the Northwest into the history of America's overall westward expansion and growth as a world power. The program was developed by the Twin Bridges Public School District in collaboration with other school districts in Montana, Idaho, and Washington, the University of Montana, the Johnson Space Center, and the Montana, Washington State, and Eastern Washington Historical Societies. Participating elementary and secondary school teachers will increase their knowledge of local and national history. In addition, they will increase their effectiveness in using historical methods and local materials in instruction through annual program activities including on-line classroom sessions held in the spring, summer research institutes, and mentoring networks. Program content addresses the origins and local repercussions of innovations in transportation, communication, and energy development. Particular attention will be paid to the exploration of the Northwest Frontier, the transformation of the frontier through technology, and the nationalization and globalization of the Northwest.

Last Modified: 09/29/2005