Teaching American History

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New York 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Ulster County, NY
Project Name:American Freedom: The Growth of the Nation
Project Director:Danielle Boyea
Number of Teachers Served:144
Number of School Districts Served:40
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:2-6
Partners:State University of New York-New Paltz, the New York Historical Society, The Tenement Museum, Samuel Morse Historic Site, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, and Shomburg Center for Research and Black Culture
Topics:Puritans and pilgrims, the founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln, immigrants, the Great Depression and American Dream, World War II; the western experience, women's movement, the Constitution, slavery, the Harlem renaissance, Civil Rights
Methods:Summer institutes, workshops, field trips

This project addresses the need for professional development of American history teachers by providing 48 teachers per year with two annual week-long summer institutes, monthly workshops, and documentary resources to develop and implement lesson plans for their elementary school students. Content sessions are organized under three themes. Under "Defining Freedom" teachers study the changing dynamic of American freedom from the Puritans' and pilgrims' time to the Enlightenment notion of liberty of the Founding Fathers, to personal freedom ensuing from the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil Rights movement, to the Great Depression. Under "Freedom Expands," content deals with the movement west, African American bondage, women's rights, and Constitutional protections. "Challenges to American Freedom" focuses on struggles of Native Americans and African Americans, the fight against Fascism, urban and rural poverty, and the role of writers and artists. The New York City waterfront is the site of a day trip.

Grantee Name:Broome Delaware Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services, (BOCES), NY
Project Name:Teaching American History in the Southern Tier
Project Director:Patricia Kuenecke
Number of Teachers Served:98
Number of School Districts Served:24
Number of Students Served:51,000
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Two central New York BOCES, Binghamton University History Department and School of Education
Topics:The Evolving Constitution, Westward Expansion, Suffrage and Citizenship, Industrial America, Immigration, America, Inc., Age of Reform, Great Depression Civil Rights Movement, Women and 19th Century Reform, Social History of World War II
Methods:Summer workshops, conferences, film series, graduate courses

This collaboration has three goals: to increase regional capacity for meaningful, differentiated instruction in traditional standards-based American history; to promote school-university collaborations as a powerful resource; and to develop a replicable data-driven model for continuous improvement in teaching and learning U.S. history. Based on a detailed needs assessment, the program can target schools and teachers precisely. It builds on a previous TAH successful partnership with the university. Subject matter includes the Iroquois Confederacy, Mayflower Compact, state constitution, Lousiana Purchase, manifest destiny, the transportation revolution, major migrations, the Homestead Act, relations with Indian nations, Reconstruction, the 19th Amendment, voting rights, Lowell textile mills, key reformers, and changing immigration policies. Each area will draw on primary sources. Additional teachers will be invited to join summer workshops.

Grantee Name:Greece Central School District, NY
Project Name:American Images: Social, Political, and Economic History Through Documents
Project Director:Jennifer Gkourlias
Number of Teachers Served:100
Number of School Districts Served:7
Number of Students Served:35,634
Grade Levels:4, 5, 7, 8, and 11
Partners:Nazareth College's Department of History and Political Science, Nazareth College's Lorette Wilmot Library, the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Susan B. Anthony House, and the University of Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery
Topics:Elementary professional development: Year 1, Colonial Settlement and Government; Year 2, The American Revolution; Year 3, Immigration and Industrialization. Secondary professional development: Year 1, Rise of Industry and Responses to It; Year 2, Industry, Depression, New Deal and World War II; Year 3, Post-World War II
Methods:Workshops, electronic "blackboard"

This project will introduce teachers to the ways in which Ph.D-level historians have reinterpreted history over the past 40 years. A variety of sources, including maps, graphs, cartoons, artwork, and music, will be used. For elementary teachers, Year 1 will focus on colonial New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts. In Year 2, they will look at the origins and outcome of the American Revolution from the perspectives of political, social, and economic historians. Year 3's sessions will address Irish and Asian immigration in early America; industrialization and the arrival of Italians, Jews, and African Americans during 1880-1920; and immigration from 1941 to the present. For secondary teachers, Year 1 will focus on industrial and economic innovations during the years 1860-1920, including social, cultural, and political responses to the new industrial order. In Year 2, they study economic, social, and cultural interpretations of progressive reforms in industry, the Depression and the New Deal, and World War II. Year 3 courses address urbanization and suburbanization, modern big business, and the culture wars.

Grantee Name:New York City Department of Education region 4, NY
Project Name:Learning History Together for Teachers of English Language Learners
Project Director:John-Paul Bianchi
Number of Teachers Served:55
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:10,000
Grade Levels:4-11
Partners:Queens College Division of Education, LaGuardia Community College, and The American Social History Project
Topics:Year 1, Settling America; Year 2, Building America; Year 3, Governing America
Methods:Workshops, summer institutes

In addition to increasing teachers' content knowledge of and instructional skills in American history, this project aims to produce curricula and adapt primary source documents for use with English language learner (ELL) students-material that will be available nationwide on Region 4's website. More than a quarter of the students in Region 4, which is on the border between Brooklyn and Queens, are ELL, and teachers assigned to those schools are frequently the least prepared, lacking training in U.S. history and ELL teaching skills. To address these problems, this project is targeting elementary, middle, and high school teachers to receive intensive professional development through eight full-day "retreats with historians" and "retreats with history educators" workshops and a "leadership retreat" summer institute each year. The immigrant impact on politics, culture, and the economy from colonial New York to early 20th century Ellis Island experiences are explored in Year 1. Slavery, industry, wartime economies, and labor are subject matter for the second year. The third year focuses on forms and implications of a democratic government, covering the American Revolution, Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Grantee Name:Nassau County Board of Cooperative Education Services, NY
Project Name:Learning Our History: Exploring the American Experience
Project Director:Fred Podolski
Number of Teachers Served:135
Number of School Districts Served:11
Number of Students Served:45,000
Grade Levels:7-12
Partners:Long Island University-C.W. Post campus, the Organization of American Historians, the New York Historical Society, the National Constitution Center, and the Museum of the City of New York
Topics:Causes of the American Revolution; the U.S. Constitution; the Civil War and Reconstruction; industrialism; America as a world power; the Great Depression; World War II and postwar U.S.; late 20th century America and early 21st century
Methods:Seminars, summer institutes

In this partnership, historians will engage 45 teachers of U.S. history each year in studying content knowledge, historical research methods, and strategies for nurturing critical thinking skills in students. Professional development spans four full-day sessions during the school year and a one-week summer institute. Four additional curriculum planning and collaboration days will be conducted by technology integration specialists. During Year 1, teachers will study founding documents, the movement for independence, changes prompted by the American Revolution, Articles of Confederation, the New York State Constitution of 1789, the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights, Federalist papers, causes and effects of the Civil War, perspectives on slavery, union and confederacy resources, Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans' view of liberty, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Year 2 focuses on the years 1870-1945, and Year 3 on events, struggles, and challenges between 1945 and the current time, ending with the election of Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Grantee Name:New York City Department of Education, Region 2, NY
Project Name:Telling America's Story: Language and Literacy for Learning Traditional American History
Project Director:Philip Panaritis
Number of Teachers Served:425
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:11,000
Grade Levels:7, 8, and 11
Partners:Fordham University, Museum of the City of New York, Bronx County Historical Society, Bronx African-American History Project, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Topics:The Colonial Period, the Progressive Era, and the History of Freedom; The 20th Century
Methods:Institutes, workshops, lectures, historical tours

The primary objective of this program is to build the capacity of American History teachers in the region's 20 low-performing middle and high schools, especially of teachers who teach English-language learners, special education, and students who are struggling readers. The project seeks to create teacher-historians who appreciate the sweep of U.S. history, including founding principles of American government and society. Over the grant years 75 middle and high school teachers will receive in-depth professional development in traditional American history and literacy strategies, and another 350 will be able to participate in lectures, workshops, events and other activities that increase history content and teaching skills.

Grantee Name:New York City Department of Education, Districts 6, 3, 5, NY
Project Name:Foundations of American Democracy
Project Director:Julie Vitulano
Number of Teachers Served:210
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:30,000
Grade Levels:6-12
Partners:The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York Historical Society
Topics:The colonial experience, the American Revolution, the Civil War, Reconstruction, immigration, industrialization, Westward Expansion, and 20th Century political activism
Methods:Workshops, historic sites, summer institutes

This consortium for professional development in American History covers the northern half of Manhattan, including Harlem and Washington Heights. Of the 70 teachers participating each grant year, 35 will participate in institutes each summer. Twenty teachers in the 11 schools identified as In Need of Improvement will receive an additional 16 hours of individual pedagogic training. Content learning will be enhanced by visits to numerous historic sites in the area as well as activities in partnership with the Historical Homes Association, Museum of Television and Radio, and National Archives and Records Administration. Under the theme of "The Patriot's Path," teachers will study George Washington and Lafayette, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, the Emancipation Proclamation, draft riots, African-Americans in the Civil War, Grant and Lee, and Abraham Lincoln. "The Pioneer Spirit" includes the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark. "The Power of Political Activism" focuses on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights movement.

Grantee Name:New York City Department of Education, District 14, NY
Project Name:District 14 and 16 Teaching American History Project
Project Director:Linda Harris
Number of Teachers Served:96
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:30,000
Grade Levels:2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 11
Partners:The Gotham Center for New York City History, The Museum of the City of New York, The Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, and the Anne Frank Center USA
Topics:From Colony to Nation, A Nation Divided: the Civil War and Centennial Eras, Inventing American Landscape, Modern Life
Methods:Museum studies, lectures, seminars, summer institutes, workshops, field trips

This project to enhance American history learning and teaching will recruit 32 teachers each grant year from 16 schools classified in need of improvement. Targeted teachers include those lacking a degree in U.S. history, those with a Common Branch license, new and international teachers, and teachers whose schools lack professional development funding. Traditional American history content will be provided by partnering cultural institutions, which will present workshops, multi-day seminars, and fieldwork activities. Lectures on Native Americans and 17th century Dutch colonial life will illustrate "From Colony to Nation." Intolerance and human rights will be examined in light of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and experiences of Irish, German, eastern European, Chinese, and Jewish groups. Historians will explore themes of heroism and remembrance exemplified by World War II, and participants will consider events leading up to the American Revolution, particularly those in and around New York State. Comparisons of free and enslaved African Americans in the North, the New York draft riots of 1863, and the impact of workers on labor unions, public housing, municipal infrastructure, and health care are additional topics. Participants will also learn about ethnic enclaves, the struggle to make a living, and the contribution of immigrant groups to New York and the nation.

Grantee Name:New York City Department of Education, NY
Project Name:Leadership in American History
Project Director:Elise Abegg
Number of Teachers Served:1,720
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:7 and 8
Partners:The Gotham Center of the City University of New York, City Lore, the Historic House Trust of New York City, Henry Street Settlement, the New York Historical Society, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Museum of Television and Radio
Topics:The American Revolution, Westward Expansion, the Louisiana Purchase, slavery and abolition, the Civil War, Reconstruction, women's suffrage, labor and industrialization, the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Cold War
Methods:Summer institutes, film series, lecture series, city-wide conference, workshops

This professional development project to instruct and engage middle school American History teachers targets 127 schools in need of improvement that are not served by other TAH programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Through in-depth examination of American leaders who have shaped U.S. history, participants will learn the content of traditional American history as well as innovative strategies for bringing that knowledge to the classroom. A sub-theme of focusing on individuals who have shaped history will be the impact of leaders and events on the New York City area. A lecture on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War may be followed by workshops on the city's draft riots. History will be explored through the lens of such leaders as Thomas Jefferson, who initiated the Lewis and Clark expedition; Andrew Johnson, whose policies slowed Reconstruction; Susan B. Anthony; Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt; John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists-spanning a period from the early 1800s to the middle of the 20th century.

Grantee Name:Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Education Services, NY
Project Name:The American Dream Project. Their Dreams. Our History.
Project Director:Kevin Sheets
Number of Teachers Served:72
Number of School Districts Served:24
Number of Students Served:83,631
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:State University of New York-Cortland, Cortland County Historical Society, the 1890 House Museum, the Onondaga Historical Association
Topics:The American Revolutionary Era; the Gilded Age and Progressive Period; and Post World War II through the 1960s
Methods:Seminars, field trips, summer institutes

This professional development project to improve history teaching and learning will recruit 24 teachers-one from each district-annually to become "teacher leaders," but will ultimately impact 1,080 BOCES teachers. The urban center for the project, the Syracuse City School District, is classified as "in need of improvement," but many other districts share challenges affecting student achievement, such as high poverty rates, poor nutrition, and poor access to health care and educational resources. In Year 1, teachers will examine the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Thomas Paine's Common Sense. The social, political, and cultural transformations involved in moving from colonial to nation status will be discussed. Year 2 focuses on the implications of the American Dream in an urbanizing, industrializing society. Immigration will be a major theme along with study of documents, including court cases and Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points. Year 3 explores the role of the U.S. in the Cold War, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, key human rights documents and speeches including the initiation of the Great Society programs and Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" oration.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007