Teaching American History

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Kansas 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Andover Unified School District 385
Project Name:Teaching American History in the Heartland
Project Director:Mike Bodernsteiner
Number of Teachers Served:25
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:4,200
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:Pittsburg State University, National Archives and Records Administration, Kansas Council for History Education/National Council for History Education, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Liberty Memorial
Topics:Freedom in the context of the American West, the Civil War, African Americans
Methods:Summer institutes, workshops, blogging

This project will provide an intensive three-year professional development program based on the American Historical Association's Benchmarks for Professional Development in Teaching of History as a Discipline and will incorporate an adapted logic model theory approach for program development for 25 teachers. Teaching American History in the Heartland will significantly increase participating teachers' knowledge of American history and will instruct them in incorporating content-specific teaching strategies based on scientific research into their classrooms in order to enhance student learning. Teachers participating in the project must commit to enhancing their own knowledge of American history and demonstrate that they have used knowledge and techniques learned in their classrooms, that they will correlate these activities to state standards, and that they agree to conduct workshops on teaching American history for teachers at their own schools and in conferences attended by teachers from other school districts in Kansas and beyond. The historical content covered by this project is centered around the theme of freedom as illustrated by America's founding documents. Specific topics include English foundations of American democracy, women in the American Revolution, the Dust Bowl, and civil rights and liberties in the 20th Century.

Grantee Name:Garden City Public Schools
Project Name:Searching for America
Project Director:Shelly Kiblinger
Number of Teachers Served:75
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:2,001
Grade Levels:Grades 6, 8, 11
Partners:University of Kansas History Department, Finney County Public Library, Finney County Historical Museum, University of Kansas Institute for Educational Research and Public Service
Topics:Era 1-The Dawn of America (1492-1763); Era 2- Constitution Building (1763-1815); Era 3- National Spirit (1815-1860); Era 4- Civil War (1860-1877); Era 5- Welding the Nation (1877-1900); Era 6- Twentieth Century Vistas (1900-1940); Era 7- WWII and the Cold War (1940-1960); Era 8- the Big Change (1960-2000)
Methods:Summer institutes, field trips

Many teachers in Kansas have little content preparation to teach American history. What is more unfortunate is that many districts fail to utilize the state's many local and regional historical resources and incorporate these linkages into their classrooms. Through this project, which incorporates some of the best historical resources Kansas has to offer, the students and teachers of Garden City will attain an essential content knowledge of American historical narratives and a broad range of historical thinking skills with which they can develop, explore, question, and enrich their understanding of United States history. To accomplish this, the district has developed a project of effective professional development that will improve teachers' knowledge of traditional American history and provide classroom support and resources through yearly summer institutes and targeted field trips that expand on the content knowledge and pedagogical strategies of the institutes. The content covered in this project spans the entirety of American history, divided into eight subject areas. Just a few of the specific subjects to be studied include Spanish and French exploration, English Colonization, the early slave trade, the Marshall Plan, school desegregation, and the Eisenhower Administration.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008