M.A.R.C.H. Through Time (Memories of America's Recorded Collective History)
A 2009 needs assessment of fifth and eighth grade American history teachers in this southern Florida district—the 12th largest in the nation—suggests a lack of proper content preparation; 18 percent of the surveyed teachers never took a history course in college, 55 percent took one to two courses, 23 percent took three to four courses and 4 percent took none. The project activities will include (1) nine American history content seminars; (2) a 3-day field study/immersion institute, featuring historical research and learning tours of local museums and historic sites; (3) a week-long summer institute, in which cohorts share new methods of engaging students and travel to historic places, including St. Augustine, Williamsburg, Boston, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.; (4) a series of teacher workshops, focusing on collaboration and content-enrichment strategies; and (5) online courses to align content learning with hands-on, minds-on media tools in an interactive learning community. Each year, the project will involve a cohort of 30 fifth and eighth grade American history teachers. The historical themes will align with the newly adopted Florida state standards for social studies. The teachers will explore historic events, themes, documents, struggles, achievements, influential individuals and pivotal events that have shaped the course of American history. All tangible products developed by teachers and approved by peer review will be made available on the project Web site.