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Northern Arizona History Academy

This northern Arizona consortium is located in a geographically isolated area. Half the students are minorities—mostly Native Americans—and 44 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The project will offer three-credit elective graduate-level courses that include content seminars, hands-on workshops, field study research, grade-based professional learning communities, lesson study sessions, online discussions and one-on-one mentoring. The courses will be taught at Northern Arizona University over six days during the school year and three days in the summer. The courses will explore pivotal events, people, legislation and judicial cases; the concepts of local, state and national significance; and the intersection of native and national storylines. Teachers may pursue two paths. An intensive 2-year track will help teachers partially complete their master’s degrees in history; in addition to the regular content, these courses will feature 3-day field study trips, online discussions and small group studies. This master's track will involve two cohorts of 15 teachers: Cohort A from summer 2011 to spring 2013, and Cohort B from summer 2013 to spring 2015. Cohort A teachers will be encouraged to continue participating after spring 2013 and serve as teacher leaders with the project and in their schools and districts. In addition, two biannual cohorts of 15 teachers will pursue a less-intensive professional recertification track. The project's key strategies are the "learn, do, teach" and "local-to-global" approaches that focus on primary sources, historical scholarship, local significance and engaging instructional strategies. Teacher-created lesson plans, activities, annotated primary sources and book critiques will be posted on a Moodle site.