Teaching American History

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Oklahoma 2009 Grant Abstract
Archived Information

Grantee Name:Lawton Public Schools
Project Name:American History Rocks! Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Dr. Anita Hernandez
Funding:$1,655,770 over 5 years
Number of Teachers Served Overall:40
Number of School Districts Served:10
Grade Levels:5, 8, 11
Partners:McNeese State University, American Institute for History Education, National Council for the Social Studies, Bill of Rights Institute, National Constitution Center, American Revolution Museum, Italian-American Heritage Commission
Topics:Year 1: The Empire vs. the Colonies
Year 2: From Unity to Division: The Agrarian South and the Industrial North
Year 3: From Division to Unity: War, Reconstruction and World Power
Year 4: Liberal Democracy vs. Totalitarianism
Year 5: Liberal Democracy vs. Totalitarianism redux
Methods:Readings, colloquia, field studies, summer institutes, videoconferences, podcasts, classroom coaching

The mainly rural American History Rocks! Liberty Fellowship (Fellowship) districts in southwestern Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle have diverse populations that include Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic English Language Learners, and military families. In Grades 5, 8, and 11, more than half of the students are failing American history. Each year, Fellowship teachers will attend colloquia, field trips, research sessions, and summer institutes. Twelve evening videoconferences will also be available to participants and all other district teachers. Participants will comprise a core group of 35 fellows from schools most in need of improvement, plus five content specialists who will receive intensive training so they can begin delivering professional development to nonparticipants in Year 2. This theme of turnkey professional development will extend to all participants by the end of the project, when core group participants will train colleagues at their local schools and districts. Fellowship content will emphasize traditional history teaching by pursuing research, writing historical narratives, creating substantive lessons, and generating Web-based activities that align with state standards. Strategies will include a 12-step process for historical research developed by the American Institute for History Education. online professional development and other resources on CICERO, lesson planning through Understanding by Design, classroom-based coaching, peer review of lessons, and a variety of frameworks for organizing historical content for use with students. The Fellowship project will result in a cadre of 40 teachers who can deliver training to their peers and a published compilation of events, materials, and lessons on a multimedia project Web site.

Last Modified: 09/10/2009