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Leading Educators Through America's Past

At these districts in south central Tennessee, student performance on history tests is falling and teachers have little access to professional development. Project activities each year will include six half-day historical encounter sessions; a historical immersion field institute (e.g., studying genealogy at Ellis Island, exploring resources at the Library of Congress); mentoring and observation opportunities; and additional sessions of online and in-person learning. Three times during the grant period, teachers will participate in a 2-day summer colloquium that examines a theme through rare documents, images, interpretive text and primary resources. Two cohorts of 50 teachers each will participate, with teachers coming from high-need schools; K-5 teachers will make up the first cohort in Years 1 and 2, and teachers of Grades 6-12 will make up the second in Years 4 and 5. The cohorts will overlap during Year 3, with the first cohort providing support to the second as they share strategies, instructional materials and content information. Five teachers each year will be selected as teacher leaders; they will attend training at Colonial Williamsburg in preparation for delivering future training to teachers outside the project. Teachers will be introduced to strategies designed to engage students in learning, including problem-solving strategies, writing for understanding and other approaches taught by the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. A project Web site and a Moodle interface will provide access to standards-based lessons, videos of historical encounter sessions and links to research-based activities. Project partners will collaborate to produce an online, theme-based professional development program that can be shared with other Teaching American History programs and teachers.

 
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