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Freedom to Learn of American Government (FLAG)

This project targets underserved populations in urban and rural areas of south-central Kentucky, where student test data for social studies have shown little or no improvement, especially in high schools. Each year, the project will provide 15 days of professional development for two cohorts of 50 teachers (overlapping in Year 3 of the project), including (1) historical encounter sessions, consisting of intensive visits to museums and historic sites, seminars, historical research and grade-level collaborative work to integrate content in the curriculum; (2) a 2-day summer colloquium hosted by the National Council for History Education; (3) historical field institutes, in which participants experience past times and deeds that relate to the yearly topic; (4) a peer-mentoring and observation program; (5) Web lessons; and (6) a teachers curriculum institute. Teachers also will attend lectures by professional historians and local historians. Participants will be recruited by district superintendents, the project director and the curriculum specialist, with preference given to teachers in schools in high-need districts. The project strategies comprise a combination of curricular resources, including an electronic resource notebook containing reproductions from the Kentucky Historical Society collections, access to intranet-based discussion boards and online lesson plans, membership in professional history organizations, and ongoing instructional support from the project director and Campbellsville College history professors. In terms of products, the project teachers will create interactive, hands-on, standards-based lessons and traveling trunks.