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Teaching American History in North Carolina

Teaching American History in North Carolina was designed to align with corrective action plans in the Pender, New Brunswick, and New Hanover School Districts in southeastern North Carolina. The project will target the districts' lowest-performing schools and recruit teachers who have the fewest credentials in history. Five modes of professional development will be offered each year: a lecture series to kick off each year, an intensive series of content seminars hosted at local and regional historical sites and museums, week-long summer institutes that emphasize traditional themes in American history, history-specific pedagogy workshops that convey strategies for scaffolding reading and face-to-face and online participation in professional learning communities. Each year, up to 25 teachers of history in Grades 4-12 will join the project. Incentives will include a stipend that increases when teachers commit to multiple years of participation. Teaching American History in North Carolina will help these teachers tap into the rich history of the state, especially its Cape Fear region, so that they can help students make sense of history by understanding its local manifestations. Master teachers will support the implementation of content literacy strategies as teachers engage students in the process of historical inquiry. The program will result in increased capacity among regional historical institutions to cooperate with local teachers. In addition, curricula, lessons plans, content packets, lecture videos, and other visual media will be made available on a project Web site housed at the History Teaching Alliance at Cape Fear Community College.