Teaching American History

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Washington 2008 Grant Abstracts
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Grantee Name:Educational Service District 112
Project Name:Causes of Conflict: Digging Deep to Understand American History
Project Director:Matt Karlsen
Number of Teachers Served:90
Number of School Districts Served:30
Number of Students Served:3,600
Grade Levels:Grades 5-12
Partners:Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Center for Columbia River History, University of Portland
Topics:Year 1, Understanding the Civil Rights Movement; Year 2, Understanding the Civil War; Year 3, Understanding the Revolution
Methods:Institutes, seminars, and Lesson Study

"Causes of Conflict" will provide teachers a range of program activities designed to deepen their knowledge of traditional American history content as well as the historical thinking skills and attitudes that distinguish it as a separate discipline. Teachers will attend History on Location institutes, led by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which pair teachers with preeminent historians and experts in classroom pedagogy. The Center for Columbia River History will conduct regional workshops, which will analyze the local application of national themes at nearby sites classes can visit. Seminars with Scholars will be open to a larger audience and will focus on the legal, economic, and social dimensions of the conflicts to be studied. Historical literacy workshops will utilize a Lesson Study approach to implement disciplinary skills, attitudes, and assessments. In Year 1, high school teachers will study the Civil Rights Movement; in Year 2, middle school teachers will examine the Civil War; and in Year 3, fifth grade teachers will analyze the Revolution. Teachers will examine content through distinct lenses: the role of laws (the law, legal arguments, and the courts); the role of peoples (individuals, social groups, and movements); the role of economics (systems, trade, and census data); and the role of place (how national conflicts differ by locale and how a passion for history emerges from a personal connection with historic sites). Specific content includes Martin Luther King, Jr., Brown v. Board of Education, Abraham Lincoln, the Underground Railroad, and the Revolutionary War.

Grantee Name:Thorp School District
Project Name:To Preserve and Protect Our Future
Project Director:Thomas Christian
Number of Teachers Served:110
Number of School Districts Served:15
Number of Students Served:41,000
Grade Levels:Grades 5-12
Partners:Central Washington University, Northwest Oral History Association, Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Topics:The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution
Methods:Workshops and field trips

"To Preserve and Protect Our Future" will implement research-based best practices in professional development and will provide active learning opportunities for teachers to implement these practices. Teachers trained in this project will have the ability to present workshops and materials to new or transferred teachers in future years. The project will provide full-day workshops with U.S. history content and methodology, standards-based assessment, and oral histories training. Workshop content will be aligned with state standards, and content episodes to be covered in each of the three years have been chosen from the National Standards in American History. There are additional options for individual professional development activities for teachers and follow-up activities with teachers through classroom observation and mentoring. During observations, project staff will record workshop information presented to students, observe new pedagogy, and mentor the delivery of the workshop content to students in the classroom. Teachers will be required to keep a learning log to reflect on what students learn. Teachers will also be invited to model new pedagogy to other teachers at workshops. Year 1 of the project will target 30 middle school teachers of American history (covering the years 1607-1920); Year 2 will target 30 high school teachers of U.S. history (covering the years 1607-present); and Year 3 will target 50 fifth grade teachers (covering the years 1607-1865). Specific content includes the Explorers, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, the Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution.

Last Modified: 08/14/2008