Teaching American History

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Ohio 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Clark County Educational Service Center, OH
Project Name:Back to History
Project Director:Kristina Markel
Number of Teachers Served:105
Number of School Districts Served:13
Number of Students Served:160,000
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Ohio State University and the Ohio Historical Society
Topics:Exploration and Settlement; Systems of Government; the American Revolution; the Civil War; Industrialization, and 20th Century Conflict
Methods:Seminars, summer institutes

Each year of this professional development project in American history, 35 teachers will build their capacity to improve instruction for their students through intensive content seminars, field trips, museum study, archival research, and a week-long summer institute. The subject matter of each activity is based on themes-significant issues, figures, and events shaping social and political history-from Ohio's Academic Content Standards for Social Studies. Four Master Teachers will be selected from Year 1 participants to return for Year 2 to join new applicants-an approach designed to foster collaboration between primary and secondary teachers, and academic and public historians. Content will include study of Saul Cornell's The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828, military history emphasizing the Civil War, the history of revolutionary ideas, labor, immigration, and urban history as reflected in the iron and steel industry of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley communities, and early settlement patterns and migration in Ohio's history.

Grantee Name:Cleveland Municipal School District, OH
Project Name:History First: Three Times Through
Project Director:Jim Templeman
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:55,000
Grade Levels:5 and 8
Partners:Kenyon College and WVIZ/PBS Ideastream
Topics:The Atlantic World (1492); European Colonization (1492-1763); Formation of the American Republic (1763-1789); The American Republic (1789-1820); Building a Democratic Nation (1820-1850); A New Birth of Freedom (1850-1877)
Methods:Seminars, workshops, graduate courses

As one of the largest urban school systems in Ohio, the district struggles with the challenge of intense poverty. This project will train 30 teachers per year from 45 middle schools, all of which have failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards. Fifth grade teachers will be trained to use visual tools (maps/political cartoons/folk and fine art images) and audio material (songs/sheet music) to engage students in assembling immigrant trunks, making dramatic presentations, and constructing maps. Eighth grade teachers will interpret historical resources and compose historical arguments. The content of the project will align to the Academic Content Standards of Ohio beginning with European colonization (1492) and going through the Civil War and Reconstruction (1877). Through a series of chronologically-defined and thematically organized graduate-level seminars, teachers will examine the central themes of American history, its seminal events, turning points, and the forces of historical change through text assignments, primary documents and artifacts.

Grantee Name:Hamilton County Educational Service Center, OH
Project Name:Freedom's Currents: Waves of American Democracy and the Ohio River Valley
Project Director:Thomas Shessler
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:10
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:4-10
Partners:Northern Kentucky University Department of History, Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Ohio Historical Society
Topics:The Faith of Our (Founding) Fathers, (Be)Coming Americans, Active Principles, Freedom Seekers
Methods:Seminars, workshops, summer institutes

The project will address the need to increase the depth and breadth of knowledge of American history faculty in southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky through a professional development program that is sustained by development of master teacher mentors who play a role in the continued improvement of history teaching. Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of traditional American history, become experts in analyzing primary sources and integrating activities into instruction, and learn how to transfer skills to students through use of best teaching practices. Under the project's core themes, teachers will explore American constitutional development and democratic processes, including study of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Northwest Ordinance, 1820 Compromise, Ohio Constitutions of 1802 and 1851, Kansas-Nebraska Act and Reconstruction Amendments. Under other themes, participants study migration, immigration and expansion of freedom; freedom in peacetime and war; and American history through regional biographies. Topics ranging from the Revolutionary to the Vietnam War will be used to explore the importance of domestic debates.

Grantee Name:Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, OH
Project Name:Teaching Traditional American History
Project Director:Faith Laughlin
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:33
Number of Students Served:55,260
Grade Levels:K-12 and special education
Partners:Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ohio Historical Society
Topics:The American Revolution, The American Founding, Sectionalism and Civil War, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive era
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, graduate courses

Like many areas, this north central Ohio region suffers from substandard student performance in American History and has a substantial deficit of teachers with adequate history training. This professional development project will enable elementary and secondary teachers to participate in three intensive six-day summer institutes that emphasize historical content based on original documents. Participants will receive a $500 stipend that can be partially used for two graduate courses. Under the theme, "The American Revolution," teachers will examine political developments in north America and the British Empire, arguments for and against independence, the Revolutionary War as a military, social, and cultural event, and the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation. "The Civil War and Reconstruction" focuses on military and political aspects, including the Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, and Second Inaugural. That institute looks closely at post-war amendments and the Reconstruction following President Lincoln's untimely death.

Grantee Name:Western Buckeye Educational Service Center, OH
Project Name:The Great Black Swamp History Scholars Project
Project Director:Christine Feichter
Number of Teachers Served:300
Number of School Districts Served:28
Number of Students Served:25,562
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Ashland University's Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, the Ohio Historical Society, county historical societies, the Ohio Council for the Social Studies, and Sauder Village
Topics:The American Revolution; The American Founding; Sectionalism and Civil War; Civil War and Reconstruction; The Progressive Era
Methods:Summer institutes, seminars, graduate courses

This project, named for the area's Great Black Swamp, which existed from 10,000 B.C.E. until the late 19th Century, is sponsored by a consortium covering almost all of northwest Ohio. Goals include helping American history teachers develop a deeper appreciation of traditional American, Ohio, and local history through a study of significant events, issues, and turning points. Participants are encouraged to focus on a sequence of courses during the summer institutes but can choose from a wide selection of topics within broader course themes. "The American Revolution" focuses on political developments in North America and the British Empire, the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and Articles of Confederation. "The American Founding" studies the Constitutional Convention, ratification struggles, creation of the Bill of Rights, Federalist papers, and anti-Federalist victories. "Sectionalism and Civil War" begins with the nullification crisis and examines developments leading up to the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, Second Inaugural, postwar Amendments, and Reconstruction are included in "Civil War and Reconstruction." The period 1870-1900 when the U.S. population doubled, is the focus of the Progressive Era.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007