Teaching American History

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South Dakota 2007 Grant Abstract
Archived Information

Grantee Name:Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, SD
Project Name:Famous Faces in American History
Project Director:John Swanson
Number of Teachers Served:45
Number of School Districts Served:12
Number of Students Served:32,292
Grade Levels:5, 8, and 11
Partners:Black Hills State University, Spearfish, Mr. Rushmore National Memorial, Custer, and Crazy Horse Memorial
Topics:Year 1, American Indian history; Year 2, early American history-founding and westward expansion, Year 3, the Civil War to the present day
Methods:Summer institutes field immersion experiences, online courses

"Famous Faces in American History" offers a professional development program in U.S. history, giving preference to teachers working in schools "in improvement." The program focuses on American history symbolized by the four presidents at Mount Rushmore with a parallel focus on American Indian history from pre-colonization to the present day. Goals include improving the quality of history instruction in western South Dakota, and increasing content knowledge of American and American Indian history. Participants earn 12 graduate credits in either history or education over the course of the program. Coursework in Year 1 spans Native American creation stories to the fur trade, French and Indian War, treaties, inter-Tribal trade and warfare, Lewis and Clark, the Trail of Tears, the Wounded Knee massacre, self-government, and reservation life. Year 2's theme, Facing History with Washington and Jefferson, explores Revolutionary events, and presidential legacies. Year 3 includes nationalism versus sectionalism, Reconstruction, industrial growth, immigration, imperialism, Emancipation, and other topics under the theme, Facing History with Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007