Teaching American History

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Utah 2005 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Alpine School District, American Fork, UT
Project Name:Alpine TAH Academy
Project Director:Sara Hacken (801) 227-8752
Number of Teachers Served:150
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:53,000

This collaboration teams Alpine School District's 64 schools with Brigham Young University in a professional development effort for 150 American history teachers in Grades 5, 7, 8, 11, and 12. In addition to increasing teachers' content knowledge and interest in American history, the program aims to improve pedagogical skills, raise student interest in U.S. history, and create a "community of historians." In-service training by expert historians and master history educators will be supplemented with learning communities, mentoring, virtual networks, and instructional resources. The content focuses on the following four themes: Foundations, Framework, and Function of the U.S. Government; Peace and Conflict; From Sea to Shining Sea; and Civic Virtue. Within each theme, pivotal events, people, documents (selected specifically from NARA's Our Documents "100 Milestone Documents"), legislation, and judicial cases will be explored. Participants undergo a minimum of 100 hours of training in Years 1 and 2, and observations and testing in Year 3.

Grantee Name:Logan City School District, Logan, UT
Project Name:Professional Academy for the Teaching of History (PATHS II)
Project Director:Richard J. Jensen (435) 755-2300
Number of Teachers Served:105
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:No Information Available

PATHS II partners the LEA with a rural school district, Northern Utah's Early College High School (a small, rural school), Utah State University, and the American West Heritage Center to improve American history instruction by increasing the depth and breadth of teachers' content knowledge and improving teachers' ability to present history content to students. Activities for middle and high school teachers, who are divided into levels according to their U.S. history experience, include blended study cycles during the school year to accommodate time constraints of participants, summer academies, field trips, after-school seminars, and ongoing collaboration through communities of practice. Two strands make up the blended study: a media-based strand offered over the Internet and on CD-ROMS and DVDs, and live classroom capstone sessions. Traditional American history content will be explored in the following six general categories: American Revolution, Constitution, changing national nature, slavery, and reform movements.

Grantee Name:Ute Indian Tribe Education Department/LEA, Fort Duchesne, UT
Project Name:Uintah Basin TAH Project
Project Director:Cameron Cuch (435) 722-2331
Number of Teachers Served:104
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:9,737

This project represents a collaborative effort among Duchesne and Uintah County School Districts, Ute Tribe Education Department/LEA (on the U&O Reservation), Utah State University-Uintah Basin, and such other education and history organizations as the Utah Council for the Social Studies, the Utah 3Rs Project, Utah Heritage Foundation, the Utah State Historical Society, the Utah Law-Related Education Project, and Roots of Freedom. To strengthen the teaching and learning of American history as a separate subject, the professional development program targets fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, eleventh, and twelfth grade social studies teachers. Ten teachers who undergo 98 hours of training in Year 1 will be selected as an experimental group. Activities include summer academies, school year workshops and field trips, annual conferences, and mentoring along with access to primary resources. Content focuses on four historical themes that accord with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. History Framework: Change and Continuity in American Democracy; Gathering and Interactions of Peoples, Cultures and Ideas; Economic and Technological Changes and Their Relationship to Society, Ideas and the Environment; and the Changing Role of America in the World. An annual Constitution Day will be supplemented by curriculum from the Roots of Freedom program.

Last Modified: 09/27/2005