Teaching American History

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New Mexico 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Albuquerque Public Schools, NM
Project Name:Reading, Writing and Researching American History in the Rio Grande Valley
Project Director:Martha Fenstermacher
Number of Teachers Served:132-152
Number of School Districts Served:4
Number of Students Served:116,746
Grade Levels:3-12
Partners:University of New Mexico's History Department, the American Institute of History Education, the Albuquerque Historical Society, and the Sandoval County Historical Society, the Center for Performance Assessment, and the City of Albuquerque Special Collections Library
Topics:Year 1, Foundations of the American Nation; Year 2, Documents of the Nation; Year 3, American Foundations and Documents in Action
Methods:Colloquia, summer seminars, travel study

While the Southwest setting of the school districts are removed from much of the history that occurred in the East and Midwest, many key threads of traditional American history are reflected in this project's student populations: conflicts between indigenous peoples and colonialism, immigration, and the birth and evolution of a nation seeking freedom and justice for its diverse citizens. In the first year, teachers will study individuals, ideas, and events that influenced establishment of American democracy: the ancient Greeks and Romans, philosophers, medieval Europe, early American thinkers, the scientific revolution, the Great Awakening, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Exploration. Year 2 focuses on key documents in the nation's development: antecedent and colonial charters, the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Thomas Jefferson and civil liberties will be the focus of the book selection. Year 3 deals with the application of founding ideas: Civil Rights, African Americans and slavery, Supreme Court decisions, and periods before and after World War II.

Grantee Name:Santa Fe Public Schools, NM
Project Name:Enchanted Circle History Organization (ECHO) Santa Fe, NM
Project Director:Richard Loosbrock
Number of Teachers Served:50
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:13,000
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Adams State College Department of History, Government, and Philosophy Organization of American Historian, and Pecos National Monument, Freedom Trail Institute
Topics:Colonial period, American Revolution, Federalist Era, Jacksonian Era, the American West, New Mexico history
Methods:Graduate courses, summer institutes, workshops, working field trips

The ECHO Santa Fe project expands a successful TAH in Colorado to facilitate teacher improvement in American history content comprehension and methodology, providing training for elementary and secondary-level teachers who are not highly qualified in history and advanced training for highly qualified teachers or those who have completed the basic program. Participants have the opportunity to earn master's degrees in history through Adams State College. The fact New Mexico lacks a mandated history or social studies exam underscores the need for this professional development effort. Seminar and institute topics focus on: the pre-Columbian period, Spanish, English, and French colonies, the early republic, the War of 1812, the Pueblo Revolt, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War era, the Gilded Age, the Mexican period in New Mexico, the Progressive era, the Twenties, the Depression, World War II, and the Vietnam War.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007