Teaching American History

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Connecticut 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Area Cooperative Educational Services
Project Name:Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: The History of Democracy in America
Project Director:Joanne Manginelli
Number of Teachers Served:65
Number of School Districts Served:10
Number of Students Served:53,000
Grade Levels:Grades 5-12
Partners:Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Yale University
Topics:Year 1: The Foundations of American Democracy; Year 2: Slavery and Emancipation; Year 3: The Struggle for Democracy in 20th Century America
Methods:Workshops, seminars

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: The History of Democracy in America seeks to increase knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American History and to raise student achievement in its consortium of districts. Sixty-five Grades 5-12 teachers will receive sophisticated content that will be supplemented by interwoven instructional support to ensure that teachers can use what they have learned to improve classroom history instruction. Teachers will also receive on-site instructional coaching and will attend workshops on forming Professional Learning Communities to increase school collaboration. To facilitate the spread of quality instructional materials, participants will develop history curriculum lessons. A project webpage will be created to provide a centralized resource for participants, and all participants will be enrolled in an e-mail distribution list to increase opportunities for sharing and networking. A combination of strong content and instructional support will ensure that teachers learn high-level history subject matter and are able to translate this knowledge into practice. This will lead to higher student achievement in history and will help Connecticut young people engage with the story of our nation and contribute to the ongoing story of American democracy. Historical topics to be covered include Colonial America, the American Revolution, the Constitutional Convention, the Civil War, and the World Wars, among others.

Grantee Name:Capitol Region Education Council
Project Name:Teaching American History in Connecticut's Capitol Region
Project Director:Anne Raymond
Number of Teachers Served:300
Number of School Districts Served:6
Number of Students Served:32,000
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:University of Connecticut, Office of the Connecticut Historian, Connecticut Archaeological Society, Connecticut Historical Society, American Antiquarian Society, Antiquarian and Landmarks Society of Connecticut
Topics:Year 1: Native American- White European Relations; Year 2: American Revolutions, Early and Modern; Year 3: Majorities and Minorities: the Uneasy Balance
Methods:Summer institutes, workshops

Teaching American History in Connecticut's Capitol Region seeks to change the paradigm on how American history is taught in Grades K-12. The project will involve infusing inquiry-based learning activities and a significant use of primary sources in the teaching of American history. Sixty-five elementary, middle school, and high school teachers of American history will participate in this professional development project. The 65 teachers directly involved will build the capacity to train their colleagues in their districts in the teaching strategies and the instructional materials that will be presented in the series of school-year workshops and summer institutes during the life of the grant; thus it is expected that approximately 300 teachers will be impacted through the project. Historical topics will include New England history, the American Revolution, the Constitution, and the Civil War, among others.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008