Teaching American History

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Louisiana 2009 Grant Abstract
Archived Information

Grantee Name:Ouachita Parish School System
Project Name:North Louisiana: Exploring the American Experience
Project Director:Michael Sartisky
Funding:$1,598,334 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:69
Number of School Districts Served:5
Grade Levels:5, 7, 11
Partners:University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Louisiana State Museum, Historic New Orleans Collection, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, National Archives and Records Administration
Topics:Year 1: Early Exploration to Colony: 1492 to 1607 ; The Founding of a Nation; U.S. History from the Gilded Age to World War I
Year 2: British Colonization of North America: 1607 to 1763; America’s "Manifest Destiny"; The 1920s and the Great Depression
Year 3: Those Who Made a Nation; Crisis of the Union: Slavery and Secession; World War II and the American Home Front
Year 4: The American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; Mr. Lincoln’s War and Reconstruction; The U.S. Enters a Cold War
Year 5: Teaching Early American History through Art and Literature; Louisiana History; The United States in the Post Cold War
Methods:Summer institutes, in-service workshops, field trips, mentoring

Ouachita Parish School System in rural northeastern Louisiana is joining with four other school districts to implement North Louisiana: Exploring the American Experience. Thirty-nine of the 84 schools in these districts are performing below expectations, and no schools in the district offer in-service programs in American history. Each summer, participating teachers from all five districts will attend a grade-level-specific summer institute that meets three hours a day, four days a week, for four weeks. Two hours of each day will be devoted to content and one hour will be allotted for a master teacher to work with teachers on pedagogy. Teachers will receive three hours of graduate credit upon completion of each summer institute, which will be supplemented throughout the year by spring and fall in-service workshops, readings, field trips to local museums and historic sites, and study of primary and Internet-based sources. The program will serve a 5-year cohort of 69 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers. These teachers will study significant issues, episodes, events, and turning points in national history and explore their connections to art, music, literature, Louisiana history, and foreign relations. The instructional emphasis will be on the use of new media and online resources at national repositories to enrich students’ learning experiences. During and after the grant period, a program Web site will inform history teachers of additional professional development opportunities, house teacher-developed lesson plans, and link teachers to one another and to state and national history repositories.

Last Modified: 09/02/2009