Teaching American History

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Virgin Islands 2008 Grant Abstract
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Grantee Name:Virgin Islands Department of Education/School District of St. Thomas & St. John
Project Name:Voyages in American and Virgin Islands History
Project Director:Annie Smith
Number of Teachers Served:30
Number of School Districts Served:1 (plus private schools)
Number of Students Served:16,750
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, University of the Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Humanities Council, Social Studies School Service, Spectrum Education Group
Topics:Colonization and indigenous peoples; War at home; Political and economic development
Methods:RSVP, summer academies, capstone sessions

The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) is in great need of teacher professional development. Nearly 90% of VIDE classes are taught by non-highly qualified teachers, and only one percent (1%) of American history teachers majored in American history. In addition, many teachers are foreign nationals or were educated in the British educational system. The VIDE TAH project will address teachers' needs by focusing on traditional American history topics, studying the parallel lines of the history of the United States and the Virgin Islands, and training ten select teachers to serve as master teachers. The project includes the Read, Study, and View Program (RSVP) offered 10 days per year, capstone sessions offered four days per year, a 10-day summer academy, four days of professional development seminars per year, and on-going in-class support. The historical themes covered will be as follows: Year 1 - Colonization and Indigenous Peoples; Year 2 - War at Home; and Year 3 - Political and Economic Development.

Last Modified: 11/20/2008