The Clio Project
The Clio Project serves Iowa's capitol, where the student population is diverse and gaps in student achievement are becoming urgent in the middle and high schools. The district intends to redesign its history curriculum to include primary sources and historical thinking, along with a learner-centered approach to instruction. Clio will address student achievement through activities that strengthen teacher knowledge about increasing student engagement, providing experiences with primary sources in print, multimedia and digital formats, and studying artifacts, historical sites, and oral history with historians and scholars. During project activities, Clio teachers will contribute to redesigning the American history curriculum and developing authentic student learning assessments. The project will recruit teacher participation at three levels: Level I teachers will be core group members (35 each for middle and high school) and will work toward leadership roles to support implementing the new curriculum. These teachers must attend at least 80 percent of activities. Level II teachers will attend 75 percent of activities to receive professional development credit, and Level III teachers will attend sessions of their choice with no participation requirement. Clio, the Greek muse of history, serves as the project's thematic guide for deepening teachers' knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history. The instructional strategies for this purpose include developing historical thinking skills, working with primary sources, and using authentic research. Attention will be paid to differentiating instruction, teaching literacy in content areas, problem-based learning, and other research-based approaches. In addition to teacher-created lessons, the Clio Project will make an important contribution to the district's new curriculum and assessment tools.