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Brining History Alive

A recent study demonstrates that teachers in this Florida district have limited accessibility to professional development in history and, due to limited budgets, lack resources and teaching materials. In this project, teachers will participate in at least 80 percent of the professional development opportunities. In Years 2 to 5, they will attend a summer institute, which will include a 2- or 3-day colloquium from the National Council for History Education, followed by 2 days of curriculum design from the University of Central Florida. Each year, the project will feature five online history webinar discussions from the National Humanities Center, two Saturday teaching history workshops from the University of Central Florida, a Saturday seminar or field study academy from the Florida Humanities Council to examine historic topics in depth, and a 3- to 5-day summer field study academy at historic sites relevant to the time period being studied. The project will involve 30 teachers, with the goal of recruiting 10 each from elementary, middle and high schools. Teachers will interact with historians, master teachers and curriculum specialists to examine, analyze and synthesize historical knowledge by reviewing primary and secondary sources. All activities will integrate educational technology and emphasize the use of resources to help history teachers improve their classroom practice. Annually, teachers will create at least one comprehensive lesson and then field-test it with students, revise it as needed and submit it to the project coordinator for review.