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Preserving America's Midwestern Heritage Fellowship

Led by the Miller R-II School District, a consortium of 14 rural Missouri school districts in need of improvement will address teachers' underpreparation in history education by implementing the Preserving America's Midwestern Heritage Fellowship. The fellowship program will offer 40 to 70 teachers of history in Grades 3-12 two professional development tracks. Those who choose Track 1 will attend at least six 3-hour content seminars that include content and instructional skills training in inquiry; they may also opt to attend a 5-day summer travel institute. Those in Track 2 will attend a 2-day fall colloquium, a 2-day spring colloquium, four and a half days of research and review, and a 5-day summer travel institute. Teachers in both tracks will attend Talking History Webinars, prepare standards-based units, lessons, and/or other lesson materials, and receive classroom coaching that employs the thereNow IRIS telepresence coaching system. Five participants will become lead teachers and provide turnkey trainings for history teachers across the consortium. Each year, fellows will research and study the political, economic, legal, social and ideological contrasts found throughout American history. They will learn to use the Binary Paideia paradigm, the American Institute for History Education Signature Strategies, and the CICERO "digital toolbox" of resources to implement grade-appropriate, inquiry-based teaching in their classrooms. Fellows will create historical narratives and interactive lessons that will be shared on the fellowship Web site. In addition, they will create "traveling trunks" that will be available for check-out to teachers across the consortium.