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The Teaching American History Project

The premise of the Teaching American History (TAH) project-a discretionary grant program funded under the U.S. Department of Education's Elementary and Secondary Education Act- is that in order to teach history better, teachers need to know more history. Unique among professional development programs in emphasizing specific content to be taught over a particular pedagogical approach, TAH grants assist schools in implementing scientifically-based research methods for improving the quality of instruction, professional development, and teacher education in American history. Illustrating the diversity of these programs as they have been implemented in local education agencies throughout the nation, this collection of essays and research reports from TAH participants provides models for historians, teachers, teacher educators, and others interested in the teaching and learning of American History, and presents examples of lessons learned from a cross-section of TAH projects. Each chapter presents a narrative of innovation, documenting collaboration between classroom, community, and the academy that gives immediate and obvious relevance to the teaching and learning process of American history. By sharing these narratives, this book expands the impact of emerging practices from individual TAH projects to reach a larger audience across the nation.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Sam Wineburg, Stanford University Preface Part I: Emerging Practices for Historians Part I Introduction * Teachers as Historians: A Historian's Experiences with TAH Projects Kelly A. Woestman, Pittsburg (KS) State University * A New Focus for the History Professoriate: Professional Development for History Teachers as Professional Development for Historians Peter Knupfer, Michigan State University and H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online * Engaging At-Risks Students: Teaching American Military History G. L. Seligman, University of North Texas * Lost in Translation: The Use of Primary Sources in Teaching History Laura M. Westhoff, University of Missouri-St. Louis Part II: Emerging Practices for Classroom Teachers Part II Introduction * Through the Lens of Local History: Enriching Instruction Using Regional Primary Sources Donald D. Owen and Katherine Barbour, Urbana. IL School District #116, * Introducing Teachers to Archives and Archivists (and Vice Versa) Tim Rives, Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Teachers' Voices in Teaching American History Projects David Gerwin, Queens College/CUNY * History in Every Classroom: Setting a K-5 Precedent Elise Fillpot, University of Iowa Part III: Emerging Practices for Professional Development Part III Introduction * Teaching American History Projects in Illinois: A Comparative Analysis of Professional Development Models Rachel Ragland, Lake Forest College. * Finding Common Ground: Conditions for Effective Collaboration between Education and History Faculty in Teacher Professional Development Dawn Abt-Perkins, Lake Forest College * Designing and Implementing Content-based Professiona Development for Teachers of American History Ann Marie Ryan, Loyola University Chicago and Frank Valadez, Chicago Public Schools * Artifacts as Inspiration: Building Connections Between Museum Educators and Classroom Teachers D. Lynn McRainey, Chicago History Museum and Heidi Moisan, Chicago Historical Society * How to Evaluate Teaching American History Projects Julie Kearney, University of Iowa, Emily Lai, University of Iowa and Donald Yarbrough, University of Iowa Part IV: Emerging Practices in a Larger Perspective Part IV Introduction * Mirrors, Mutuality of Interest, and Opportunities to Learn: The TAH Program, Assessment, and Faculty Robert Rook, Towson State University Teaching American History: Observation from the Fringes Cary D. Wintz, Texas Southern University Contributors Index

About the Author

Rachel G. Ragland is Assistant Professor of Education at Lake Forest College. She currently serves as the Director of Clinical Partnerships for the Education Department and is a national co-editor for the H-NET Humanities and Social Sciences Online Discussion Network on Teaching American History. She was Assistant Academic Director for the Model Collaboration: Rethinking American History TAH grant from 2001-2004 and a TAH grant reviewer in 2007. Kelly A. Woestman is Professor of History and History Education Director at Pittsburg (KS) State University. She has written or co-written twelve Teaching American History grants, and has served as Project Director for 5 grants in Kansas and as external evaluator for TAH grants in Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado, and Maryland. A founding editor of the H-TAH list community, she was elected President of H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online ( for 2009.


"!This book will be of great use to faculty and graduate students!it includes many interesting and enlightening anecdotes. Summing up: Recommended."--CHOICE "The editors have organized the book well!.In the right hands, The Teaching American History Project might coax historians to nurture relationships with K-12 teachers. Collegial historians might collaborate with education faculty to design a historical methods course. College teachers who wish to expand their repertoire beyond the traditional lecture will find encouragement in this book."--Teaching History: A Journal of Methods

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