Teaching American History

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Ohio 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Akron Board of Education, Akron, OH
Project Name:Teaching American History: The Akron Plan (TAHAP)
Project Director:Adam M. Motter (330) 761-3034
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:6,000

TAHAP is a professional development program created by the Akron Public Schools in collaboration with the History Department and archives at the University of Akron and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association. TAHAP provides annual summer institutes, monthly academic-year seminars, and additional networking activities for participating fourth, fifth, eighth, and tenth grade teachers. Participants are expected to increase their mastery of local and national historical events and to be able to convey this information to students in ways that increase students' interest and achievement. Participants will disseminate their new knowledge and skills by mentoring their peers and developing unit lessons for the entire school district. Topics, modified to reflect the grade learning standards, range from the colonization of North America through the Cold War and current conflicts. Special attention is given to linking local and national historical events and the use of primary documents.

Grantee Name:Alternative Education Academy, Akron, OH
Project Name: Teaching American History in the Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy (OHDELA)
Project Director:Linas Vysnionas (330) 535-6868
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:0
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

A home-based charter school managed by White Hat Management, LLC, OHDELA is collaborating with the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University to provide a professional education program for American history teachers working with students in Grades 7 through 12. The program aims to deepen participant understanding of traditional American history, improve the quality of their instruction, and raise student achievement levels by providing annual one-week graduate-level summer institutes culminating in the creation of on-line lesson plans. Content will focus on the use of primary documents to explore key themes in American history. Topics will include the American Revolution, sectionalism and the Civil War, and the Progressive Era. Video-based lesson plans and other resources developed by participants will be disseminated via the project website and OHDELA Learning Network broadcasts.

Grantee Name:Euclid City School District, Euclid, OH
Project Name:Rivers, Roads, and Rails
Project Director:Mark T. Tebeau (216) 687-3937
Number of Teachers Served:240
Number of School Districts Served:28
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

This professional development program for American history teachers in Grades 4, 8, and 10 teams 28 Ohio school districts with Cleveland State University, Kenyon College, Case Western Reserve University, the Tuscarawas-Carroll-Harrison Educational Services Center, the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway, and the National Park Service. The program aims to improve the expertise and instructional skills of 40 teachers who participate directly in activities and coursework, and an additional 200 through face-to-face mentoring and interactive distance-learning meetings. Following a train-the-trainer model, participants will become master teachers by creating lesson plans, revising curricula, and mentoring colleagues. The Canalway forms the historical framework for studying the social, cultural, and economic heritage of traditional American history, because its landscapes reveal the region's complex past and speak to nearly every major topic in the nation's history. The Project examines the historical relation between people and place—how factors of environment, technology, industry, and population migration have given structure to distinct historical landscapes.

Grantee Name:Fairfield City Schools, Fairfield, OH
Project Name:America's Journey: The Quest for Freedom, 1492-1836
Project Director:Bonnie Fitzharris (513) 829-6300
Number of Teachers Served:50
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

Fairfield City and Northwest local school districts are partnering with Miami University-Hamilton, the Michael J. Colligan History project, Lane Public Library, the Public Library of Cincinnati, and Hamilton County in this program to improve the quality of American history instruction. Building on a successful 2003 TAH grant, the program serves teachers in Grades 5 and 8 by providing five-day summer institutes, four academic year seminars, a project website, and original multimedia history resources on DVD and CD specifically created for participant classrooms. At the end of Year 3, a regional two-day conference will disseminate ideas, lesson plans, and teaching resources. The program aims to boost student test scores in American history and increase teacher content knowledge, and teachers will receive two hours of graduate credit per year. The period 1492-1836 was selected for the project's core American history content for the target grades for its inclusion of significant issues, turning points, and individuals who shaped the nation. The first year covers A Call to Freedom, 1492-1775; the second, Forging Freedom, 1775-1787; and the third, Following Freedom's Path, 1788-1836.

Grantee Name:Perry Hocking Educational Service Center, New Lexington, OH
Project Name:THINK History
Project Director:Jody A. Blankenship (614) 297-2535
Number of Teachers Served:96
Number of School Districts Served:136
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

THINK History brings together the Educational Service Center, 136 southeastern Ohio school districts, Ohio University, and the Ohio Historical Society in a professional development program designed to increase teacher knowledge of and appreciation for U.S. history through analysis of primary source materials. The project introduces teachers in Grades 8 and 10 to regional resources, fosters continuing interaction among scholars, curators, and teachers, and trains educators in research skills. Annual activities include four Saturday seminars, four regional seminars, a research day, and intensive summer institutes. All participants receive graduate training in topics such as Westward Expansion and the Frontiers, the Constitution and Governance, Industrialization, and Migration and Immigration. Seminars address such state-related topics as the Northwest Ordinance, Ohio's Indigenous Culture, and Inventors and Industrialists in Ohio.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005