Teaching American History

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California 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Borrego Springs Unified School District
Project Name:DeAnza Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Consuela Smith
Number of Teachers Served:120
Number of School Districts Served:30
Number of Students Served:59,000
Grade Levels:Grades 5-12
Partners:University of San Diego, American Institute of Historians and History Educators, Bill of Rights Institute, Civil War Society, American Institute for History Education
Topics:Year 1, Building of early America; Year 2, Empire vs. the colonies; Year 3, Agrarian South and the industrial North
Methods:Year 1, Building of early America; Year 2, Empire vs. the colonies; Year 3, Agrarian South and the industrial North

The DeAnza Liberty Fellowship will increase teacher knowledge of and appreciation for traditional American history, resulting in improved academic achievement in students. The project will allow the consortium of districts to design traditional, yet innovative, American history curricula and lesson-units that will provide students with a substantive historical continuum, not a series of disconnected events. Through web-conferencing distance learning sessions, the project will provide Saturday sessions during the school year and days during the summer, including field study trips, emphasizing historical content and teaching strategies with leading historians, pedagogy experts, and master teachers. Teacher-leaders will be trained to disseminate the benefits of the project to teachers throughout their home districts. Teachers will examine the ideological roots and precedents that formed colonial America, compare and contrast the ideological and historical developments that greatly increased the rift between the British Empire and the colonies, contrast the agrarian South with the developing market-economy of the Northern states during the 19th century, contrast American societies with totalitarian regimes during the first half of the 20th century, and study the Cold War.

Grantee Name:Clovis Unified School District
Project Name:Give Me Liberty!
Project Director:Rob Darrow
Number of Teachers Served:325
Number of School Districts Served:6 county LEAs
Number of Students Served:400,000
Grade Levels:Grades 4-12
Partners:Grades 4-12 California State University-Fresno, American Institute for History Education, History Project at Fresno State, California County Educational Technology Consortium, Learners Online, Inc.
Topics:Year 1, Colonial and Revolutionary America: Contest for Liberty (1754-1787); Year 2, Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era (1850-1877); Year 3, Liberty and Equality in the Civil Rights Era (1945-1970)
Methods:Distance learning sessions, seminars, colloquia, and field trips

"Give Me Liberty!" fuses a rigorous program of professional development and university coursework around the study of major themes in American history based on the California History Standards. The partners have designed a content-rich multi-dimensional program built around the principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty that respond to the needs of participating teachers. The project will provide five main professional development components that address annual themes in American history to different degrees and levels of complexity and emphasize teaching American history as a separate subject in the core curriculum. The five components of the project include a master's degree cohort, history certificate cohort, colloquia, seminars, and travel study. A sixth component includes remote history Professional Learning Communities made up of teachers from rural and low-performing schools who will be assigned a history professor mentor and participate together in the history certificate courses, monthly seminars, and quarterly colloquia. Content topics include American slavery, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, antebellum slavery and the Old South, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, immigration, and the Cold War. Historians and history professors will collaborate to implement the quarterly colloquia and the yearly study trip, ensuring that these models of professional development will continue following the grant.

Grantee Name:Imperial County Office of Education
Project Name:The ITAH Project: Exploring the Nation's Foundations
Project Director:Antonia Zupancich
Number of Teachers Served:130
Number of School Districts Served:13
Number of Students Served:26,086
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:University of San Diego, Pioneers Museum, Civil War Institute, Boston Collaborative, Plimoth Plantation, FDR Library
Topics:Liberty, civic virtue, service, sacrifice, corruption, republicanism
Methods:Summer institutes, workshops, field trips

The Imperial Teaching American History (ITAH) Project: Exploring the Nation's Foundations will provide professional development in traditional American history as a separate academic subject, with a focus on the principles upon which the nation was founded, especially its founding documents. By having established partnerships with extraordinary history professors, the local history museum, the University of San Diego, and a nationally recognized professional development team, the stage is set to change the way that American history is taught in Imperial County. Teachers in the ITAH project will participate in content and pedagogy-rich two-week summer institutes, focus on pedagogy and development of meaningful classroom curriculum during Saturday workshops, receive mentoring support, and sustain and disseminate their learning gains through a unique county-wide history education organization. ITAH teachers will learn and apply three concepts to their curriculum: identifying similarities and differences; summarizing and note-taking; and the use of questions, cues, and advance organizers. Content will focus on the Colonial and Early National periods, class and gender roles, the Civil War, and the 20th Century. Along with history content, teachers will examine topics on "Group Problem Solving in History" and history vocabulary, develop curriculum modules, receive technology training, and participate in mentoring.

Grantee Name:Kern County Schools
Project Name:History of a Nation
Project Director:Jeff Nickell
Number of Teachers Served:40
Number of School Districts Served:47
Number of Students Served:170,362
Grade Levels:Grades 5, 8, 11
Partners:California State University-Bakersfield, Kern County Museum, American Institute for History Education, Bill of Rights Institute, California Technology Assistance Projects, New Jersey Center for Civic and Law-Related Education, Civil War Society
Topics:Year 1, A Nation Begins; Year 2, A Nation Emerges; Year 3, Growth and Conflict
Methods:Colloquia, seminars, institutes, field trips

The History of a Nation project will raise student achievement in American history throughout Kern County by deepening knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of traditional American history for participating teachers. The project will recruit and train cohort teachers (Fellows) who will disseminate American history resources and model lesson plans in their respective districts. Content providers will support the four main professional development components of colloquia, history seminars, history immersion institutes, and field studies. Professional development activities will include visiting scholar presentations, a series of videoconferences, trips to local historical sites, web broadcasting, television production, face-to-face meetings, and scholar-guided experiences. The project is organized around sequential themes of American history, which build upon each other and are framed by the California State Standards. Content will include the rift between the British Empire and the colonies, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Progressivism, World War I, and the Cold War. A team of content experts will help delivery the professional development series and will support Fellows as they develop and implement lesson plans.

Grantee Name:Lynwood Unified School District
Project Name:Teaching American History: Success and Rigor For All
Project Director:Chidiebere Onyia
Number of Teachers Served:292
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:33,668
Grade Levels:Grades 3-5, 8, 11
Partners:California History-Social Science Project, California State University-Long Beach, California State University-Dominguez Hills
Topics:Civic republicanism, classical liberalism, the Constitution and Bill of Rights; exploration, encounter, and settlement in early colonial North America; urbanization, ethnicity, and migration in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries
Methods:Seminars, institutes, field trips

"Teaching American History: Success and Rigor For All" will implement rigorous professional development for teachers in a curricular area that builds understanding of democracy and a common history as well as knowledge, judgment, and critical thinking. The project will also increase teachers' knowledge and understanding of discipline-specific instructional approaches to teaching history, including literacy skills that are critically needed to access the content. Teachers will attend intensive summer institutes, with aligned follow-up programs during the academic year, at which university history faculty will engage participating teachers using pedagogical strategies to present major topics and themes in U.S. history. Teacher-leaders will present model standards-based lesson plans based on in-depth historical research. All sessions of the summer institute and seminars will be specified by grade-level content standards with morning sessions that will feature presentations of recent scholarship and important primary and secondary materials and afternoon sessions modeling teacher strategies and assisting participants with lesson plans and activities. Historical topics covered will include early colonial North America, the American Revolution, slavery, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, industrialization, and immigration, among others.

Grantee Name:Moorpark Unified School District
Project Name:National Treasure
Project Director:Marilyn Green
Number of Teachers Served:150
Number of School Districts Served:3
Number of Students Served:32,792
Grade Levels:Grades 5, 8, 11
Partners:California Lutheran University, Reagan Library
Topics:Year 1, Pre-Columbian America through the Revolution; Year 2, Revolutionary period to the early 1900s; Year 3, 1900s to the present
Methods:Seminars, institutes, field trips

"National Treasure" will train and support teachers, improve content knowledge and lesson delivery, and ultimately have a positive effect on student achievement in U.S. history. The project will lead participating teachers on a voyage of discovery, where they will find treasures in primary source documents, including well-known historical figures and names that may not be commonly recognized, and will explore the development and evolution of the meaning of freedom. Instruction will be provided in both content and pedagogy to teachers through evening seminars, summer institutes, book clubs, release time, coaching, and field study. Participating teachers will also have regular opportunities to meet as a group to write lessons collaboratively and provide each other with feedback. Site administrators will attend project training sessions so that they learn what the teachers are learning and can support effective and ongoing implementation. The theme of growing inclusion of groups excluded from full citizenship and how that process has changed the meaning of "We the People" over time will be the lens for studying pre-Columbian America to the present. Content includes the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Cold War.

Grantee Name:Oakland Unified School District
Project Name:History Grows in Oakland-Teaching American History in an Urban District
Project Director:Stanley Pesick
Number of Teachers Served:80
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:40,000
Grade Levels:Grades 4, 5, 8, 11
Partners:University of California-Berkeley, University of California History-Social Science Project, Oakland Museum of California, Peralta Hacienda Historical Park
Topics:Year 1, Wealth and Freedom - A Focus on America's Economic History; Year 2, Democracy and Equality - A Focus on America's Political History; Year 3, America and its Dreams - A Focus on the History of American Ideas
Methods:Seminars, institutes, Lesson Study

"History Grows in Oakland-Teaching American History in an Urban District" will increase teachers' knowledge of traditional American history and improve their ability to translate this knowledge into instruction that advances student understanding of American history as measured by state, district, and classroom assessments. One professional development strand will support the work of elementary teachers (fourth and fifth grades), who teach early American history; a second strand will support the work of secondary teachers. Participating teachers will attend an after-school speaker series, school-year release days, and summer institutes. They will develop an American history "Lesson Study" around each of the project's three yearly themes and an instructional question they choose to research. The different emphases in each year offer separate slices of American history and, taken as a whole, they will provide participating teachers multiple ways of understanding significant events, individuals, and ideas in American history. Year 1 will cover such issues as trade, territorial expansion, and modern trade treaties; Year 2 will cover America's political struggle over democracy, equality, and civil rights and connect it to the history of America's foreign policy; and Year 3 will focus on the nation's stated ideals and will trace how these ideals shaped concrete historical outcomes in foreign affairs. Specific content will focus on the American Revolution, the Civil War, slavery, the Gold Rush, and Transcendentalists. Along with content, project sessions will be devoted to historical inquiry, historical thinking, and post-talk historiographic discussions.

Grantee Name:Orange Unified School District
Project Name:The Story of American Freedom
Project Director:Peter Tavoularis
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:30,000
Grade Levels:Grades 8, 11
Partners:University of California-Irvine, University of California-Irvine History Project
Topics:Year 1, The democratization of freedom, freedom and equality; Year 2, Constitutional guarantees of freedom, immigrants and American liberty, civil liberties, the New Deal; Year 3, American slavery and American freedom
Methods:Institutes, workshops, field trips

"The Story of American Freedom" will improve student achievement by facilitating a powerful and exciting new focus on primary source documents and technology in the classroom. The program addresses four specific professional development needs: expanding teacher content knowledge in history; revising district curriculum to align to state standards and reflect current disciplinary research; developing teachers' skills in content-based literacy strategies, and integrating technology into the curriculum to bring traditional historical content to underserved student populations. Teachers will develop their ability to think historically and, therefore, will be prepared to create a curriculum that allows students to model the work of historians by analyzing the important historical documents of America's past. Through the collaboration of middle and high school teacher-leaders, a vertically integrated curriculum will be developed to support high-need students' opportunities to access and understand the history of our nation. The project will include a series of intensive teacher training institutes, follow-up activities, curriculum workshops, and field trips to museums, archives, and historical sites. The program will be based on the work of historian Eric Foner, using his book The Story of American Freedom as a framing device. Topics include the American Revolution, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, women and slaves in the early Republic, abolition and emancipation, immigrants and American liberty, the World Wars, and civil rights and voting rights. Field trips will include visits to sites throughout Philadelphia and New York City.

Grantee Name:Pasadena Unified School District
Project Name:California as America
Project Director:Felicity Swerdlow
Number of Teachers Served:60
Number of School Districts Served:2
Number of Students Served:32,320
Grade Levels:Grades 4, 5, 8, 11, 12
Partners:The Huntington-USC Institute for California, Huntington Library, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Topics:The colonial period, the early Republic, antebellum America, the sectional crisis, urbanization, immigration, industrialization, Progressivism, the Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, modern America
Methods:Institutes, seminars, field trips

"California as America" will increase teacher knowledge, improve effective instruction, and build a sustainable model that encourages teachers to become life-long students of traditional American history by interweaving California and the West into national themes and historical outcomes. The project will include 1) formal professional development to each of two cohorts of teachers that provide direct interaction with scholars of traditional American history and access to rare book, manuscript, photographic, and other archival material; 2) small learning communities of grade-level peers led by a doctoral student to help access/integrate materials appropriate to California U.S. history standards into lessons; and 3) a richly programmed two-week East Coast tour of American history and five-day courses led by the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Each session will be planned carefully to reflect content-based instructional mandates of the California Standards and the breath and depth of pertinent Huntington archival holdings. Scholar leaders will explore the holdings to pull appropriate materials for discussion and examination. They will then prepare content packets for teachers, which will include one or two scholarly articles on the topic or theme under review, a theme-related secondary source bibliography, a theme-related primary source bibliography, and an annotated description of the items drawn from the collections. Course content will include topics such as Jamestown, Manifest Destiny, the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the Cold War, among others.

Grantee Name:Petaluma City Schools District
Project Name:Teaching Traditional American History-Petaluma Project 2008
Project Director:Sue Olds
Number of Teachers Served:52
Number of School Districts Served:8
Number of Students Served:34,000
Grade Levels:Grade 5
Partners:Sonoma State University, Marin Museum of the American Indian
Topics:Year 1, American Frontiers; Year 2, Colonial Communities and Institutions; Year 3, Creation of the American Republic
Methods:Institutes, field trips

The project will provide teachers with a strong academic content background and effective pedagogical strategies that include active learning, teaching methods tied to content, and the development of literacy skills necessary to understand both content area text and primary documents. Program strands include 1) interweaving content, pedagogy, and historical thinking; 2) integrating history/literacy and developing historical habits of mind; 3) identifying appropriate assessment tools and applicable teaching processes; 4) setting benchmarks and performance indicators for teachers and students; 5) identifying standards, texts, books, articles, and materials to be used; 6) how to observe peers and give feedback; and 7) advocating for increased instructional time. The academic content strand, aligned with California State Academic Content Standards, is presented through lectures, discussion, and readings, particularly in primary source materials. Faculty model best practices by integrating content, outstanding pedagogical strategies, historical thinking, and technology. Year 1 addresses contact and early interactions among European, indigenous, African, and other peoples in the "New World," including the impact of trade, European exploration, migration, conflict, and cooperation between these cultures from the earliest historical records through the mid-19th century. Year 2 addresses the diverse communities of North America, from pre-Columbian civilizations to the settlement of European colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the maturation of those colonies. Year 3 addresses the causes of the American Revolution, the course and consequences of the Revolution, the development of the Constitution, and expansion of the Republic in the early national period.

Grantee Name:Riverside Unified School District
Project Name:Becoming a Historian Project
Project Director:Ronald Weston
Number of Teachers Served:35
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:19,000
Grade Levels:Grades 8, 11
Partners:California State Polytechnic University, Brown University, National Constitution Center, National Archives and Records Administration, Library of Congress
Topics:Year 1, Historiography of the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; Year 2, Historiography of Slavery and the Civil War; Year 3, Historiography of Civil Rights and Human Rights
Methods:Master's program, workshops, institutes, field trips

The "Becoming a Historian Project" will provide participants with a professional development experience that includes strong academics, nationally recognized scholars, the opportunity to visit major historical sites, and a program of coaching support as teachers increase the use of research-based instructional strategies in their classrooms. Teachers will vertically articulate the curriculum between grade levels; share instructional strategies and experiences; and develop, deliver, and revise standards-aligned lessons that support the History-Social Science Framework for California public schools. Teachers will also research and collect documents, artifacts, and other instructional and historical materials that will be included in "History Trunks," an instructional strategy and activity that will be used to engage students in understanding key points in American history in an especially meaningful way. The project will include a customized Master of Arts in History degree program; a standards-aligned custom series of after-school lectures, day-long custom workshops, and summer institutes; and one-on-one and small group professional development follow-up. Content will include the early Republic, the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Civil War, and civil rights. Content knowledge will be connected with the skills students need using historical artifacts, books, document-based questions, historical simulations, and lessons developed during the professional development workshops.

Grantee Name:San Bernardino County Schools
Project Name:Discovering the Roots of Freedom in American History
Project Director:Angela Dorough
Number of Teachers Served:270
Number of School Districts Served:33
Number of Students Served:419,000
Grade Levels:Grades 5, 8, 11
Partners:Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, University of California-Riverside, San Bernardino Valley College, Museum of Tolerance, Japanese-American Museum, National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, Autry National Center-The Museum of the West, Mission San Diego, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument
Topics:Year 1, Gilded Age through the 20th Century; Year 2, Constitutional era through Reconstruction and the Gilded Age; Year 3, Pre-Columbian through constitutional eras
Methods:Colloquia, institutes, field trips, workshops

"Discovering the Roots of Freedom in American History" will strengthen teacher content knowledge, curriculum, and instruction that will lead to an increase in test scores and the development of a regional network of American history teacher-leaders. The project will address teachers' lack of historical content knowledge, historical analysis skills, and pedagogical knowledge of American history. Teachers will be provided with 1) model lessons that have been successfully used with students; 2) time to develop academic, standards-based lessons that connect American history content to research-based strategies; 3) a monthly e-newsletter highlighting exemplary websites and American history resources; 4) coaching by scholars, partners, and trainers; 5) standards-aligned benchmark pre- and post-tests to provide monitoring and feedback on student achievement and growth; and 6) student "Attitudes Towards History" surveys to be given at the beginning and end of each year. Content will be reinforced through regular in-services, academic readings, required coursework, and implementation of rich content-based curriculum in the participants' classrooms. Project format includes colloquia and practica days that focus on historical content and historiographic skills followed by curriculum development presentation activities, attendance at regional history conferences, and summer institutes. Project content includes the Constitution, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, World War II, and civil rights. California and the nation's rich heritage will be examined through field trips to historic sites.

Grantee Name:Solano County Office of Education
Project Name:The American History Academy: Investigating the Past, Preparing for the Future
Project Director:Pamela Tindall
Number of Teachers Served:250
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:15,000
Grade Levels:Grades 8, 11
Partners:History Project at the University of California - Davis, Solano Community College
Topics:Year 1, the Early Republic and Civil War; Year 2, New England Puritans and World War II; Year 3, Civil Rights and the Reagan Revolution
Methods:Seminars, institutes, book groups

"The American History Academy: Investigating the Past, Preparing for the Future" will engage teachers in the process of historical investigation to deepen knowledge of traditional American history and develop understanding of the discipline of history. Teachers will gain the knowledge, resources, and strategies necessary to improve instruction and raise student achievement. Academic historians from the University of California-Davis and Solano Community College will provide content talks and lead source work to provide participants with a thorough review of the American history content outlined in California's standards from the Revolutionary period through the present day. Project teacher- leaders will demonstrate how to incorporate historical thinking and literacy-building strategies into historical investigations and will coach participants to develop similarly structured lessons. Participants will work in grade-specific groups over the course of two years, with eight grade teachers served in the first two years of the grant and eleventh grade teachers in Years 2 and 3. Each year of the two-year groups will have themes, with Year 1 focusing on developing content and disciplinary understanding and Year 2 focusing on fostering communities of practice. Teachers will participate in a pre-service gear-up seminar, a fall seminar, a spring seminar, and a summer institute for each of the two years. Content themes for eighth grade teachers include democracy in the early Republic, the Age of Jackson, and the Civil War, among others. Content themes for eleventh grade teachers include World War II and "Freedom on the March." Specific historical topics covered include New England Puritans, the War of 1812, Abraham Lincoln, the Depression, civil rights, and the Reagan Revolution.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008