Teaching American History

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Delaware 2010 Grant Abstract

Grantee Name:

Red Clay Consolidated School District

Project Name:

The Freedom Project: Turning Points and Learning Points in American History

Project Director:

Rebecca N. Reed

Funding for Years 1-3:


Number of Teachers Served Overall:


Number of School Districts Served:




Grade Levels:



University of Delaware, Historical Society of Delaware, Delaware Public Archives, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History


Year 1: Colonial America; the American Revolution;  Reconstruction
Year 2: Jefferson and Jackson; World War I; Age of Roosevelt
Year 3: Slavery and Civil War; Modern America and the Triumph of Freedom


Workshops, summer institutes, field studies, Professional Learning Communities

These districts — the two largest in Delaware — are rated below target in terms of Adequate Yearly Progress. In addition, their American history teachers lack adequate preparation in their subject area. Each year of the project will include four 2-day American history workshops and two week-long summer institutes with field trips for two cohorts of 25 teachers and administrators, who will work in professional learning communities and lesson study teams. Cohort A will learn about events through the Civil War, while Cohort B will focus on post-Civil War history. To prevent attrition and ensure full impact, the project will employ an incentive system in which teachers and administrators who participate for three years will receive annually enhanced stipends. All topics are related to the theme of freedom. The project will concentrate on major eras of American history and more focused case studies of selected turning points in the evolution of freedom. The project Web site will feature videotaped sessions that allow visitors to view guided practice lesson presentations by the instructional specialist, a reader-response blog in which visitors can respond to recommended readings and research lessons, a forum in which visitors can recommend and discuss American history resources and best practices, an "Ask the Historian" component that allows participants to communicate with the project's guest historians, and a featured book site that draws attention to new and notable books.

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Last Modified: 11/23/2010