We the PUPILS (Professionals United to Promote Instructional Leadership in Schools)
In 2008-09, this district had an average of only 14.2 percent of students in Grades 8 and 11 proficient in American history. Teachers will be able to participate in a variety of weekend institutes that deliver content and methods training, local field experiences and end-of-year expeditions to national sites, and 5-day summer workshops. In addition, 40 teachers each summer can take credit-bearing graduate courses that will be delivered in a combination of in-person and online media. Teachers will come from the schools where students have the greatest need. To ensure that resources and activities complement grade-level standards, teachers will participate in an elementary/middle or high school cohort. Each summer's field experiences will align with the year's topic, and the two cohorts will study historical eras that align to content they teach in the classroom. Sessions on pedagogy and opportunities to collect resources for classroom use will be incorporated into all activities. The project Web site will house teacher blogs, reading lists, lesson plans, videos, journal entries and more; an annual product will highlight project activities to other teachers and the community at large (e.g., in Year 3, teachers will research and create archives on four local leaders for whom schools are named). At the end of the three years, teachers will host an Academy of American History Forum for all Duval County history teachers, where they will present workshops and lectures highlighting the experiences and materials developed under the grant.