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Project TAH-21: Teaching American History in the 21st Century

All six of the countywide, southwestern West Virginia districts involved in this project have failed to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress for three or more consecutive years. Two districts are in corrective action, and 18 of the region's elementary, middle, and high schools have been identified as in need of improvement. Project TAH-21 will engage teachers and administrators in learning communities focused on American history, led by Marshall University professors. Two-hour monthly meetings will develop content knowledge and employ lesson study to support instructional skills. Online courses, 1-day mini-institutes, 3-day summer field experiences, and weeklong intensive summer institutes will help teachers develop content knowledge, history thinking skills, and history Habits of Mind. Each year, a new cohort of 30 teachers will participate, and project staff will recruit first from schools that are most in need of improvement. Project TAH-21 aims to link history content, curriculum design, and instruction within a comprehensive American history plan. Teachers will review and analyze original, core documents in a setting that models the strategy for use with students and Professional Learning Communities will foster sustained and purposeful conversations about teaching practice and content delivery. When the grant ends, the project will continue through Professional Learning Communities, ongoing access to online courses on American history topics, and a living Web site of resources for teachers.