Teaching American History

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North Carolina 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Beaufort County Schools, NC
Project Name:From Preserved Union to Emergent World Power, America 1850-1917
Project Director:Michele Oros
Number of Teachers Served:25
Number of School Districts Served:4
Number of Students Served:3,000
Grade Levels:6-12
Partners:National Humanities Center, East Carolina University
Topics:Triumph of Nationalism/The House Dividing, 1815-1850; The Unresolved Conflict, Civil War and Reconstruction; the Gilded and the Gritty, 1870-1912; the Making of African American Identity: Volume II, 1865-1917
Methods:Summer institutes, distance learning, seminars

This project targets history teachers in 17 rural, high-poverty schools in four coastal North Carolina counties where bloodlines of some families trace back to America's original settlers. Participation is limited to 25 self-selected high school history and eighth grade social studies teachers who commit to attending all three summer institutes, three technology-mediated focus groups per semester, and a day-long debriefing at the end of each school year. Each participant receives a laptop computer and data projector for use in the project; equipment will be transferred to participating schools in the event of any withdrawals. Central to the program are themes of scholarship, inquiry, and civic participation. Subject matter was selected on the basis of test data indicating low student knowledge of the period between 1850 and 1917. The National Humanities Center Seminar Toolboxes for participants, therefore, target events and turning points that occur in three eras: 1815-1850, 1870-1912, and 1865-1917.

Grantee Name:Guilford County Schools, NC
Project Name:Advancing Performance in United States History (APUSH) for Teachers and Students
Project Director:Jonathan McRae
Number of Teachers Served:30
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:9-12
Partners:University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Guilford College, Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Greensboro Historical Museum Greensboro Public Library, High Point Museum, Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum Blandwood Mansion, and Friends Historical Collection at Guilford College
Topics:The New Nation (1789-1820); Expansion and Reform (1801-1850); Crisis Civil War, and Reconstruction (1848-1877); Prosperity and Depression (1919-1939); World War II and the Cold War (1930-1963); the U.S. since the Vietnam War (1973-present)
Methods:Understanding by Design trainings, colloquia, summer institutes, historical site visits

Teachers in the APUSH project will be recruited from six high schools identified as most in need of improvement. Based on achievement data, teachers will be encouraged to focus on courses in which students scored poorly: sectionalism and Civil War, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive era, the Cold War, American foreign policy, and others. The project seeks to meet four measurable objectives: creation of American history curriculum guides; increased teacher content knowledge of American history; higher student achievement through quality classroom instruction; and development of lead teachers to serve as content coaches to sustain the project.

Grantee Name:Provisions Academy, NC
Project Name:Reach to Teach
Project Director:Sadie Jordan
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:27,500
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Campbell University, the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, National History Day in North Carolina
Topics:Beginnings to 1620; Colonization and Settlement; Revolution and the New Nation; Expansion and Reform, the Civil War and Reconstruction; the Emergence of Modern America; the Depression and World War II; Contemporary U.S.
Methods:Summer institutes, workshops, study groups

Provisions Academy Charter School is an alternative education school serving about 80 students in grades 6-12. In partnership with two school districts representing a total of 39 schools, along with academic and cultural institutions, this project will create a network of at least 25 skilled master teachers who can share their knowledge of traditional U.S. history with colleagues long after the grant program. "Reach to Teach" envisions more than 75 central North Carolina educators will participate in its professional development activities over the course of three years. Annual three-week summer institutes will be attended by a minimum of 25 teachers, comprised of elementary, middle, and high school teacher teams. Stipends will be available for District Program Advocates, who are responsible for sustaining the initiative in their districts, and Teacher Mentors will be matched with protégés to coach weekly. Workshop content addresses: principles of a Constitutional democracy, history technology resources, and 100 milestone documents-beginning with the Lee Resolution of 1776 and ending with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Last Modified: 10/23/2007