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Shelby County Teaching American History Grant

Shelby County is in a predominantly rural area of western Ohio, in the vicinity of Dayton, but not within easy reach of most professional development opportunities. Shelby County Educational Service Center lacks funds to provide training, so this grant will employ a training-of-trainers approach to help districts develop expertise from within their ranks. Project staff will use historical scholarship, local historians, and primary sources to make state and local history connections. During each school year, teachers can attend four 1-day seminars, two day-long field trips, and summer institutes that provide intensive, weeklong versions of graduate courses—a choice of six each summer, from which teachers select two. Each year, the participants will include four master teachers who participated in previous TAH grants and up to 25 new teachers, who may participate for as long as three years. The project aims to engage teachers through familiar strands of the traditional American history narrative while expanding their knowledge through exploration of the latest historical scholarship. During seminars, master teachers will help participants convert content knowledge, delivered by historians, into improved classroom instruction. The summer institutes will have a companion Web site where teachers can mount lesson plans, search a repository of original documents, and share resources and lessons. In addition to creating a collection of lessons, teachers can apply summer institute credits toward requirements for a master's degree.