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Freedom and Rights in the American Mosaic Experience

In this eastern Massachusetts consortium, needs assessments have indicated that 115 of 800 social studies teachers have not attained highly qualified status and that, overall, students have scored below the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The project activities will feature six history immersion institutes per year, a 2-day summer colloquium, 18 hours of face-to-face historical encounter sessions with Framingham State College professors and instructional support. At the end of each month, grade-level teams will meet to integrate content and teaching strategies. The professional development will consist of lectures and guided readings by expert historians, immersion in the Gilder Collection History Museum's extensive repository of rare original manuscripts and materials, and guided field experiences at some of Massachusetts' most significant historic sites, studying how the area's history has been affected by national events. Cohort 1 (Years 1-3) will involve 50 American history teachers in Grades K-7, and Cohort 2 (Years 3-5) will include an additional 50 teachers in Grades 8-12. Year 3 will be a transition as Cohort 1 mentors Cohort 2 on learning strategies, instructional materials and content information. The themes will explore the documents that established the framework for the United States and how that framework had an impact on key turning points, individuals and events. The project will address a lack of high-quality educators with history degrees by providing participants with three annual hours of graduate class credit in American history. A Web site will feature videos of historical encounter sessions, vignettes by the history professors and links to activities.