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Strengthening the Teaching of American History in District of Columbia Public Schools

This professional development partnership between the district and American University features 2 preparatory workshops, a summer institute offering graduate credit courses in American history and curriculum design, 2 citywide Teaching American History conferences, action research projects, access to numerous documents, artifacts, and sites in the Washington, DC area, and 3 follow-up seminars for American history teacher participants. By targeting 35% of U.S. history teachers in grades 5, 8, and 11, the district aims to create a corps of mentors and teacher leaders and develop learning communities within schools. Creation of CD-ROMs and expansion of the district's website to include project resources such as lesson plans extend the project's reach. Participants will explore themes corresponding to eras covered in the grade-level curricula: America before 1900 (5th grade); the U.S. in the 1900s (8th grade); 20th Century U.S. (11th grade).