Teaching American History

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New Jersey 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District, NJ
Project Name:One Nation - Many Americans Project
Project Director:Margaret Doran
Number of Teachers Served:25
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:12,000
Grade Levels:6-12
Partners:Richard Stockton College, the African American Heritage Museum, the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the New York Times, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, and Ellis Island
Topics:Colonial settlement, indentured servitude, Native American relations, slave labor, Westward Expansion, migrant labor, transportation construction, urban growth, American expansionism, and increasing diversity
Methods:Summer institutes, colloquia, field trips

Because many of the district's students are recent immigrants to the U.S., this project will train teachers to explore American history through the lens of communities who have settled in Greater Egg Harbor. In the first year, participants will combine the National Archives' lesson plan "Revolution and the New Nation" with site visits to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was crafted, and Stenton Museum, former home of James Logan, secretary to William Penn and a chief negotiator with local Indians. In Year 2, a lesson on urbanization and immigration is paired with education programs at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Ellis Island National Historic Site. In Year 3, study of the contemporary U.S. is bolstered by research in community-based archives at the African American Heritage Museum and the Atlantic City Free Public Library and by visits to the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives.

Grantee Name:Greenwich Township School District, NJ
Project Name:History Surrounds Us
Project Director:Barbara Santini
Number of Teachers Served:59
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:5,387
Grade Levels:4, 5, 8, 10
Partners:Centenary College, Rutgers University, the New Jersey Historical Society, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Topics:Antebellum South, Interpreting six Presidents, World War II, Civil Rights Movement, European settlement, New Jersey history, the Revolutionary War, the American Economy
Methods:Workshops, summer institutes, seminars, book study groups

The "History Surrounds Us" project addresses the need to provide long-term professional development to teachers at ten schools in Warren County, NJ. Through multiple opportunities to engage in content instruction delivered by professional historians, collegial resource sharing, extensive readings, films, travel to local and regional sites, and training in the selection and use of historical sources, the district seeks to ensure all students enter high school equally well prepared. Topics covered in Year 1 include Immigration in Pennsylvania and Abolition/The Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania as well as traditional U.S. history content seen through the lens of local history: colonial period, Revolutionary War, Civil War, Slavery, Immigration, and the Industrial Revolution. The project benefits from the national treasures, including the first draft of the U.S. Constitution and a renowned manuscript collection from the 17th-19th centuries, held in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. It is also one of the nation's leading repositories of ethnic and immigrant study materials.

Grantee Name:Middletown Township, New Jersey School District, NJ
Project Name:MiddleBridge Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Marie Caldaro
Number of Teachers Served:50
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:20,000
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Temple University, the American Institute of Historians and History Educators, the American Institute for History Education, the Bill of Rights Institute, National Constitution Center, Civil War Institute, International Spy Museum, Cold War Museum, Foreign Policy Research Institute
Topics:The British Empire and the colonies; the agrarian South vs. the developing market economy of the northern states; American society vs. totalitarian regimes
Methods:Colloquia, field trips, research sessions, summer institutes

Middletown is a bedroom community of New York City that lost 34 of its citizens to the events of September 11, 2001. The second district, Old Bridge, is also a commuter community located on the urban fringe of New York City. Both school systems are among the largest in their counties as well as the state. In this project, Fellows will attend 13 days of professional development sessions devoted to historical content and strategies for applying that content to educational activities.

Grantee Name:Monroe Township Board of Education, NJ
Project Name:James Monroe Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Laurie McConnell
Number of Teachers Served:50
Number of School Districts Served:10
Number of Students Served:25,346
Grade Levels:3-12
Partners:College of New Jersey, Temple University, the American Institute of Historians and History Educators, the American Institute for History Education, the Bill of Rights Institute, Mount Vernon, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Civil War Society, the Civil War Institute, the Cold War Museum, Gunston Hall, International Spy Museum, National Constitution Center, New Sweden Center
Topics:Early American History and the American Revolution; Civil War and Reconstruction; 20th Century U.S. history
Methods:Summer institutes, colloquia, field trip series

To address the need for professional development of U.S. history teachers, the James Monroe Liberty Fellowship will recruit a core group of 35-45 teachers most in need and 10-15 seasoned TAH veterans to serve as the first cohort of teacher leaders who will turnkey all aspects of the Fellowship back into the schools. Through turnkey sessions, every elementary and secondary teacher in each district will benefit from the grant. In addition, all teachers will have 60-70 30-minute videos of historian presentations and will be able to communicate with them through the "Talking History" program and electronic bulletin boards. Study of history topics will include research on prominent figures in each period.

Grantee Name:Montgomery Township Board of Education, NJ
Project Name:The Nathanael Greene Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Holly Houston
Number of Teachers Served:45-60
Number of School Districts Served:7
Number of Students Served:32,000
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Princeton University, the American Institute of Historians and History Educators, the American Institute for History Education, the Bill of Rights Institute, Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Civil War Society, National Constitution Center, the Civil War Institute, Cold War Museum, International Spy Museum
Topics:The Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, the agrarian South and market economy of the North, slavery, the Civil War, Progressivism, World War I, Wilsonian international liberalism, the Great War, totalitarian regimes
Methods:Colloquia, field trip series, summer institutes

Along with recruiting "teachers most in need" of professional development in American History, the Fellowship will train a cadre of more experienced teachers as teacher-leaders. The cadre will "turnkey" the Fellowship into their own schools through a historical dialogue model that translates historical content to students and uses effective teaching strategies. Using the Binary Paideia approach to understand societies, Fellows will explore structures such as the U.S. constitutional republic; ruling orders, such as the Communist Party in the U.S.S.R. or U.S. citizens; and social culture, such as the Iliad, Bible, or Koran.

Grantee Name:The Newark Public Schools, NJ
Project Name:Witness to American History
Project Director:Robert Gregory
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:10,000
Grade Levels:6-12
Partners:The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National Council for History Education, Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark Museum
Topics:The American Republic, pre-history-1820; the Civil War and its aftermath, 1820-1910; contemporary life, 1910-present
Methods:Workshops, colloquia, seminars, summer institutes

This project will provide 192 hours of professional development in American history teaching for all 65 high school teachers and ten middle school teachers. Activities include a three-day staff development workshop, five-day colloquium, three-day primary source training, six six-hour courses by Rutgers University faculty, two days of museum-led training, and mentoring strategy workshops. History teachers will also take part in developing new approaches to content-based instruction for the district. Witness to American History content covers traditional themes of: the three worlds' encounter in America, colonial life and emerging American identity, creating a new nation, expansion and reform, the Civil War and Reconstruction, making of modern America, the U.S. and two world wars, and contemporary America, 1945-present.

Grantee Name:Passaic County Technical Institute, NJ
Project Name:Turning Points in American History
Project Director:Joseph Sabbath
Number of Teachers Served:22
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:7-11
Partners:Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, William Paterson University, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark Museum, New Jersey Department of Education
Topics:Turning Points 1619-1877; Turning Points 1878-1959; Turning Points 1960-present
Methods:Capstone sessions, seminars, summer academies, historical site visits

The project will provide the resources, partnerships, and experienced leadership for all history teachers employed by Passaic County Technical Institute to strengthen their understanding of and skills in teaching traditional American history as a separate academic subject. Currently, only eight percent express confidence in their use of pedagogically appropriate techniques for teaching American history. Focusing on turning points that changed the course of U.S. history, participants will attend presentations by renowned historians, receive instruction from pedagogy experts, engage in collaborative exploration of materials, and discuss significant new research. In Year 1, participants will focus on colonization, the slave trade, American Revolution, and the Civil War. Year 2 subjects include Reconstruction, World War I, Great Depression, and World War II. Year 3 deals with civil rights, the feminist movement, wars, and world conflict. Teachers from neighboring districts will be invited to attend the summer academy as space permits.

Last Modified: 10/23/2007