Teaching American History

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Pennsylvania 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Lewisburg, PA
Project Name:American History in Pennsylvania: Great Documents, Great Events, Great Places
Project Director:Kathy L. Hummel (570) 523-1155
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:8
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

In partnership with seven other Intermediate Units, the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania State Archives are providing content-rich professional development project for U.S. history teachers that explores the principles embodied in U.S. historical documents along with their relevance to Pennsylvania. American history teachers in Grades 7 through 12 will work with historians, curators, and archivists to increase their content knowledge and history research experience. Each history teacher is paired with a language arts teacher for a full year to develop intervention strategies that increase student achievement through improved reading and writing skills. Year 1 addresses Forging a Nation: the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution; Year 2, Upon This Hallowed Ground: the Civil War and the Gettysburg Address; and Year 3, Industrial Nation: Building the Modern World. All three years include the Pennsylvania Colony: William Penn's Charter.

Grantee Name:Ridley School District, Folsom, PA
Project Name:Gateway to American: Pennsylvania's Links to American History Past and Present
Project Director:Richard F. Cleventine (610) 534-1900
Number of Teachers Served:100
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:Almost 5,000

The Gateway program is a collaboration of the Ridley School District with Chestnut Hill College, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Atwater Kent Museum, the National Constitutional Center, the National Archives-Mid-East Region, and the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Participating teachers, drawn from Grades 3 to12, will become familiar with historical methodology (including analyzing primary and secondary source data), receive training in techniques for incorporating history into classroom studies, and examine key events in American history. Events to be studied begin with the American Revolution and culminate with the study of World War II. The local impact of these events will be a special focus. Annual activities include a series of fall and spring lectures, visits to historical sites, a weeklong summer institute, and development of an interactive website for staff development and classroom instruction.

Grantee Name:School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Project Name:Shaping and Reshaping America, 1787-1920
Project Director:Melvin E. Garrison (215) 299-7480
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:9,000

The School District of Philadelphia is partnering with Saint Joseph's University, the National Constitution Center, the National Archives and Records Administration's Mid-Atlantic Office, Independence National Historical Park, and the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia to provide a minimum of 30 teachers in Grades 5, 8, 11, and 12 with professional development opportunities in American history. Saturday symposia, summer institutes, monthly meetings, and a teacher network will involve exploration of primary documents, historical site visits, independent research, and technology use. Content knowledge and pedagogical skills will be enhanced by focusing on social, political, and constitutional history, looking particularly at events between the late 18th and early 20th Centuries in U.S. history. This project will examine how America's development was closely tied to issues that at every turn brought us back to our founding and the ideas that were embodied in our Constitution.

Grantee Name:The School District of the City of Erie, Erie, PA
Project Name:American Constitutional History and the Search for Ordered Liberty
Project Director:Michael P. Federici (814) 824-2560
Number of Teachers Served:25
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

The LEA, in conjunction with Mercyhurst College, the Erie Maritime Museum, the National Association of Scholars, and the National Humanities Institute, is providing 25 middle and high school American history teachers with a professional development program designed to enhance instructional quality and improve student achievement in U.S. history. Centered on three-week summer academic conferences held at the college and visits to three historic sites corresponding to the conference content, the project approaches content instruction through the lens of American constitutional history. The first year will address Early America and the Constitutional Formation, the second year will cover the Early Republic, slavery, and the Civil War, and the last year will explore America as a global power in the 20th Century. Lectures and lesson plans are posted on the project's website as resources. Annual public lectures by prominent U.S. history scholars will be held to generate community interest in American history and support of teaching it as a separate discipline. The program includes mentoring and pedagogy seminars.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005