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Chicago History Project: A Model Professional Development Program

The nation's third largest school district will collaborate with the Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Metro History Education Center, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, the Newberry Library, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the University of Illinois at Chicago to improve skills, raise student achievement, and create professional communities among history teachers in grades 7-12. Teachers from nearby middle and high schools are organized into 4-member professional development teams for intensive summer institutes, in-service colloquia, and programs featuring project partner resources. Institutes address political, social, cultural and economic themes reflected in initial encounters between American Indians and Europeans through the current era of globalization. Colloquia mix small group work with presentations on such topics as the Northwest Ordinance and Constitutional Convention of 1787, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, progressivism and the labor movement, the New Deal, and the civil rights movement. Designed to develop teachers as scholars and reflective practitioners, the project extends to non-participating schools and works to create master teachers for leadership roles.