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Connecting Learning and Instruction in Olathe (CLIO): We the People: In Search of a More Perfect Union

In this Kansas City metropolitan district, budget cuts have significantly altered teaching assignments, resulting in more American history teachers who need better preparation. For each semester during the three years, the same 20 teachers will participate in eight semester-long colloquia, three 3-day lecture series, and three 5-day travel research workshops led by faculty from the University of Kansas history department. Over the course of the project, the teachers will conduct independent research, create lesson plans and attend 10 professional development sessions for additional training on historiography, pedagogy and local American history resources. Instructional resource teachers will provide feedback to the teachers through classroom observations. The project will explore continuity and change in American history by examining how the founding fathers drafted the Constitution to facilitate changes, recognizing that the nation was not yet perfect. It will also examine the economic, social and political factors that shaped the meaning of "We the People" over time, tracing the causes and effects of the events that have pushed the nation toward becoming a "more perfect union." Participating teachers will learn how to locate and use evidence in primary and secondary sources to interpret the past and explore different perspectives and points of view. They can earn 19 hours of graduate credit through the University of Kansas or receive professional development points through the district. A Web site will feature all the project products and resources, including faculty lectures, classroom videos of teachers and students, lesson and unit plans, electronic field trips, book reviews, and course and workshop syllabi.