Teaching American History

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Michigan 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Ionia County Intermediate School District
Project Name:America in Revolution and Conflict
Project Director:Rebecca Bush
Number of Teachers Served:200
Number of School Districts Served:28
Number of Students Served:45,000
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:American Institute for History Education, Smithsonian Institution, Central Michigan University
Topics:A New Nation (Year 1: 1760 - 1820); A Divided Nation (Year 2: 1820 - 1865); Reconstructing and Expanding America (Year 3: 1865 - 1910)
Methods:Workshops, summer seminars, peer coaching

This project seeks to expand history content knowledge and improve instructional competency for 200 elementary, middle, and high school teachers who serve more than 45,000 students attending high-needs, low-performing schools. An innovative teacher recruitment plan that includes identifying three "priority tiers" for participating schools will ensure that the project concentrates professional development efforts on improving the quality of instruction and student performance in schools in improvement status. Implementation of the project will provide teachers with multi-day history workshops, after-school and summer seminars, technology integration, peer discussion groups, and programming designed to significantly improve instructional quality. Within each of the three main time periods that will be studied, historians and experts will work with faculty to study the lives of key individuals, explore social movements, and trace the impact that war and conflict have had and continue to have on our national identity. Specific topics to be covered include the Revolutionary War, ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the War of 1812, socio-political and economic factors of slavery, the Civil War, assimilation of American Indian cultures, Manifest Destiny, the Labor Rights Movement and the Spanish American War. In-depth profiles of individual historical figures will also be included, such as Paul Revere, Francis Scott Key, Robert E. Lee, Sitting Bull, Upton Sinclair, and Ida B. Wells.

Grantee Name:Muskegon Area Intermediate School District
Project Name:West Shore Consortium for Dynamic History Instruction
Project Director:David Klemm
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:23
Number of Students Served:81,000
Grade Levels:Grades K-12
Partners:Smithsonian Institution, National Council for History Education, Grand Valley State University
Topics:The Promise of Democracy - the expansion of American political participation (Year 1); A Piece of the Pie - the development of the American economic system (Year 2); Becoming and Being an American - the development of national identity (Year 3)
Methods:Summer institutes, professional learning communities

This project is designed to improve student achievement by preparing faculty in schools located in the Muskegon and Ottawa Area Intermediate School Districts to teach traditional American history as a core subject in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The program will specifically target teachers educating youth in 29 schools not making Adequate Yearly Progress. Implementation of this project will provide teachers with multi-day professional development programs, summer institutes, Internet-based learning tools, on-site study excursions, and lively professional learning communities for K-12 teachers. Each year of the program will find teachers working across historical eras and grade levels to examine history from a thematic perspective. Content will include the investigation of leadership and values - political, economic, and social - that impacted the development of American society, minority experiences across regions of the United States, and the marginalization of subgroups of the American population. Specific topics to be studied include colonial resistance to British tax policies, ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the Reconstruction Amendments, Progressive Era reform, America's emergence as an imperial power, the Great Depression and New Deal, and globalization and the Technological Revolution.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008