Teaching American History

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Missouri 2006 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Carthage R-9 School District, MO
Project Name:Mastering American History: Professional Development for Missouri Teachers
Project Director:Renee M. Cebula
Number of Teachers Served:24
Number of School Districts Served:No Information Available
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:4, 8, 11
Partners:the University of Missouri (St. Louis), Missouri Southern State University, the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence, the Missouri Department of Education's SuccessLink, the Powers Museum, and Missouri State History Day
Topics:Historiography, colonial and early national America, Missouri in the westward movement, the Civil War and Reconstruction, 19th century America, comparative urban history, Civil War St. Louis, U.S. foreign relations since 1900, documenting hometown history, and progressivism and American democracy
Methods:graduate seminars, lecture series, History Day workshops, and the creation of new lesson and unit plans

In Missouri, Only 51.8 % of 4th graders, 42.5% of 8th graders, and 20.1% of 11th graders scored "advanced" or "proficient" in grades on state social studies achievement tests taken during the 2004-05 school year. This project seeks to improve student performance by offering a cohort of Missouri teachers from under-privileged and under-performing school districts across the state a graduate degree in traditional American History. In addition, the project will promote National History Day in Missouri with a series of statewide workshops, sponsor a lecture series open to teachers and the public, create hundreds of innovative lessons and distribute them electronically in a proven format, and improve the capacities of the project partners to support Missouri teachers and their students.

Grantee Name:Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, MO
Project Name:Perspectives on American Democracy from 1776 to 9/11
Project Director:Dennis Lubeck
Number of Teachers Served:66
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:65,226
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:the University of Missouri (St. Louis), the National Council on History Education, and the Truman and Lincoln Presidential Museums
Topics: year 1: the founding documents, the founding generation, Jacksonian democracy, abolition, and social reform, year 2: abolition, social reform, the Civil War, Reconstruction, perspectives on democracy (1870-1920), the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement (1900-1954), and year 3: post-World War II America, the Cold War, affluence, the Great Society, and modern conservatism
Methods:seminars, colloquia, summer institutes, mentoring, workshops, networking activities, and website development

Fewer than 20% of American history teachers in the consortium majored in history, and the number of those with graduate degrees is very low. There is also a desire to increase enrollment in Advanced Placement history courses, especially among African-American students. Through this program, teachers will have opportunities to read serious monographs, work with primary sources that illuminate the changing definitions of freedom, and to learn more about the research in the teaching and learning of history that will guide their lesson and unit planning. A select group of teachers will also learn mentoring skills to assist younger colleagues who have recently entered the profession.

Grantee Name:Poplar Bluff R-1 School District, MO
Project Name:Bricks and Bridges: Building American History Teachers in Southeast Missouri
Project Director:Randy Winston
Number of Teachers Served:40
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Southeast Missouri State University, the Lincoln Library and Museum, and the Truman Library and Museum
Topics:year 1: Liberty and Equality, year 2: Identities and Power, and year 3: Enterprise and Land
Methods:workshops and seminars, use of scholarly books and e-learning resources, collaborative learning, and experiential learning

This project will improve student achievement and teacher knowledge and practice by adopting a detailed thematic content framework that specifies and organizes what participants will learn about traditional American history. The project's goals are to raise student achievement as measured by grade-specific assessments, to increase the depth and breadth of teacher knowledge as measured by core-based assessments, and to improve teacher ability to teach American history. To this end, the project will (1) adopt a detailed thematic content framework, (2) identify and formalizing best practices in an instructional specification, (3) engage all eligible teachers, and (4) implement an evaluation program to gather objective evidence of project success. A thematic content framework will underpin each and every Bricks & Bridges activity. The Framework is built upon six main themes that take into account Missouri's U.S. history core and the teaching and research strengths of faculty at Southeast Missouri State University, the Lincoln Library and Museum, and the Truman Library and Museum.

Last Modified: 08/18/2006