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Partnering to Deepen Students' Understanding of American History

This effort to increase the content knowledge and instructional skills of teachers and improve student performance in U.S. history targets teachers in grades 4, 5, and 8-11 in 4 school districts in rural northeastern North Carolina. Partnering with the schools are the Paideia Group, SERVE, National Humanities Center, North Carolina State University, North Carolina State University Humanities Extension and Engagement Program, College Board, Center for Effectiveness in Research, Teaching, and Learning, and Curriculum Design for Excellence. During the first semester of each school year, a cohort of 40 teachers work on aligning the U.S. history content using the vertical teaming concept of the College Board. During the second semester, participants will collaboratively assess the quality of their American history assignments and unit plans. During the summer, they attend 2-week summer institutes focusing on eras in American history and related instructional strategies. Mini-seminars may address such topics as presidential inaugural addresses, the Monroe Doctrine, or Seneca Falls Declaration on Women's Rights. Other seminars may cover America in 1850, expansion, the cult of domesticity, religion, or the cult of the common man.