Teaching American History

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Indiana 2009 Grant Abstract
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Grantee Name:Monroe County Community School Corporation
Project Name:History Education Project: Teaching American History through the Lens of Indiana
Project Director:Patricia J. Wilson
Funding:$497,917 over 3 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:30
Number of School Districts Served:1
Grade Levels:4-12
Partners:Indiana University-Bloomington, Monroe County Historical Society
Topics:Year 1: Thinking Historically, A New Nation, Antebellum Government and Economy, Pioneers: Red and White
Year 2: Slavery and Anti-Slavery, Civil War, Progressive and New Deal Reform
Year 3: World War II, the 1950s and 1960s, Global America
Methods:Seminars, field trips, book discussion groups, spring conference, summer institute, coaching

The Monroe County Community School Corporation in southern Indiana is a comprehensive school district with a large research university in its midst. The district includes both high and low-achieving schools, and its students come from ethnically, economically, and socially diverse backgrounds. Teachers in Monroe County's lowest-performing schools will be targeted for recruitment to the History Education Project. In Year 1, professional development activities will include three weekend retreats that incorporate seminars and field trips, two evening book discussions, lesson planning consultations, a classroom observation, and a culminating spring conference. Years 2 and 3 will feature a 5-day summer seminar, spring and fall retreats, two evening book discussions, lesson planning consultations, two classroom observations, and a culminating spring conference. A historian-in-residence, along with master teachers, will assist each teacher in the development of 15 powerful lessons in American history. Up to 30 of the district's 133 history teachers will be recruited, and they will participate in all three years of the program. Each year's themes will be investigated through case studies of the period, with an emphasis on connecting Indiana people, places, events, and historical turning points to the larger American scene. The History Education Project will integrate four dimensions of instruction: thinking historically, utilizing primary resources, teaching big ideas, and posing multiple perspectives. The program will maintain an interactive Web site as a repository of field-tested U.S. history instructional resources.

Last Modified: 09/02/2009