Teaching American History

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Texas 2007 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Education Service Center, Region 2, TX
Project Name:Improving the Teaching of American History
Project Director:Janet Dickerson
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:42
Number of Students Served:15,750
Grade Levels:4-11
Partners:Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi History Department, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Bill of Rights Institute
Topics:Year 1, Colonial and Revolutionary America; Year 2, The Constitution and Early Republic; Year 3, Antebellum America and the Civil War
Methods:Master teachers, lectures, seminars, historical sites, stipends, website, Share Fair, History Alive!

Aimed at improving American history teaching in 42 districts and seven charter schools in an 11-county area, this project provides each participant with 246 hours of high quality professional development. Social studies and U.S. history teachers will be divided into two cohorts of 30 each: elementary grade and secondary grade levels, and will progress through course activities for the entire three-year grant period. Two master teachers will be assigned to each cohort, and special attention will be given to "limited English proficient" teaching strategies. Content, including study of primary sources, covers: exploration and conquest, colonization, the colonial economy and society in the 18th century, coming of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, events from Jefferson to Jackson, the market revolution, Manifest Destiny/westward expansion, the U.S. at mid-century, the beginning of the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln as a war president, the union's victory, and Reconstruction. Subject matter will be closely tied to readings and field trips to local and national historic sites.

Grantee Name:Irving Independent School District, TX
Project Name:Building Excellence in History Teachers
Project Director:Kelly McMichael
Number of Teachers Served:100
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:33,000
Grade Levels:5, 8, and 10
Partners:The University of North Texas, the National Archives-Southwest Branch, the Amon Carter Museum, and the National Council for History Education
Topics:Exploration and colonization; the American Revolution and representative government; the Constitution; westward expansion; sectionalism; the Civil War; Reconstruction; industrialization and urbanization in the Gilded Age; Progressive era; U.S. emerging as a world power and World War I; Great Depression; World War II, Civil Rights, cold war and Vietnam, modern America
Methods:Summer colloquia, on-site workshops, classroom observations, mentoring, online system

This Dallas-based professional development project planned for "Building Excellence in History Teachers" will assist in filling an assessed lack of mastery of essential American history in district teachers. Teachers in 20 elementary, seven middle, and five high schools will participate in activities designed to increase content knowledge in U.S. history, implement student-centered teaching methods, and promote students' critical thinking, research skills, and writing. Spanning the years pre-1704 to the present, the project stresses a multidisciplinary approach, highlighting turning points with art and music history and geography. Westward expansion, for example, includes the political, social, and cultural climate of the period, covering such topics as: Andrew Jackson, the rise of mass democracy, the tariff and nullification crises, the Bank War of 1832, the Indian Removal Act, the Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk and Taylor presidencies, the ideology of manifest destiny and John O'Sullivan's role, the annexation of Texas and acquisition of California, and the rise of industrialism and reform movements.

Grantee Name:La Joya Independent School District, TX
Project Name:Passion for United States (PUSH) Project
Project Director:Dagoberto Ramirez
Number of Teachers Served:105
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:No Information Available
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:South Texas College, the University of Texas A&M, Region 1 Education Service Center, the Museum of South Texas History, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, Pamplin Park, and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
Topics:Founding Documents, the American Revolution, the Formative Years, the American Constitution, Development of Division, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Emergence of America as a World Power, the Twentieth Century
Methods:Summer history immersion excursions, Saturday workshops, pre-field trip workshops, readings, graduate study

The Passion for United States History (PUSH) project will provide professional development for 30 elementary, middle, and high school teachers annually, and 15 elementary teachers for a full three years in which the latter group earn an Associates degree in History at South Texas College. Designed to address deficiencies of teacher knowledge of key issues and turning points, influential individuals in U.S. history, and the impact of the founding documents, project content will be delivered by a team of local, regional, state, and national experts at museums and historical sites. The content covers: South Texas history; founding document principles such as limited government, republicanism, checks and balances, federalism separation of powers, and individual rights; the American Revolution and its connections with Texas; the relationship of the Bill of Rights to colonial grievances; implications of Constitutional changes in the 19th and 20th centuries; and national and local implications issues surrounding the Civil War. The 15 teachers enrolled in the intensive three-year program will also study the emergence of America as a world power and 20th century implications of founding values.

Grantee Name:Northside Independent School District, TX
Project Name:Our Country 'Tis of Thee
Project Director:Sara McAndrew
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:81,811
Grade Levels:elementary and secondary
Partners:Texas State University's Department of History and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Topics:Evolution of American Democracy; Immigration, Migration, and Cultural Conflict; Economic/Technological Development and Social Relationships; America's Place in the World
Methods:History institute classes, instructional support teachers, summer institute, leadership college sessions, readings

Located in San Antonio in Bexar County, this district of 98 schools extends into Medina and Bandera Counties, covering 355 square miles of urban landscape, suburban growth, and rural Texas hill country. Teachers participating in this professional development program will attend five days of thematic seminars during the year, but will select one theme as an area of concentration. Throughout the year, they will develop and execute lessons that reflect the theme, with assistance from content and pedagogical experts. Two outstanding teachers will be selected to present their work at a state or national American history conference. Elementary teachers will focus on events leading from the Articles of Confederation to creation of the U.S. Constitution; contributions of various ethnic/racial/religious groups; the impact of science and technology; economic development and environmental benefits; 20th century events and individuals; and the role of the U.S. in the world. Content for secondary teachers addresses the foundation of representative government; the Revolutionary era; factors leading to the Civil War; relationships among diverse groups; labor and the Great Depression; the Cold War; economic growth between the two World Wars; the impact of economic innovations and technology; national and international decisions from World War II to the present; and champions and critics of foreign expansion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Grantee Name:Region One Education Service Center, TX
Project Name:Pursuing Academic Success for Students and Teachers (PASST)
Project Director:Linda Graves
Number of Teachers Served:100
Number of School Districts Served:14
Number of Students Served:363,270
Grade Levels:8-11
Partners:University of Texas-Pan American, Law Focused Education, Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum, Learners Online, Plymouth Plantation, and Palo Alto Battlefield
Topics:Year 1, Colonial America and the American Revolution (1492-1783); Year 2, Founding of the American Republic (1783-1865); Year 3, Modern America (1965-present)
Methods:Master's cohort, colloquia, seminars, travel study, guided readings

Project PASST is designed to prepare 100 uncertified teachers to be highly qualified in American history, improve students' academic and reading skills in U.S. history, use engaging instructional techniques to motivate students, and successfully transition to teaching American history as a separate subject. Participants are divided into a master's cohort of 20 teachers and a non-master's cohort of 80. Content of the colloquia and seminars explores colonial settlements in America and Texas, slavery, Benjamin Franklin, the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, Constitution, Louisiana Purchase, War of 1812, and Texas Declaration of Independence. Additional subject matter explores the Trail of Tears, Great Plains settlement, the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, Texas Statehood, World War I and II, Red Scare, Great Depression, Cold War crises, Civil Rights, and the American dream in the global age.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007