The Walt Whitman Liberty Fellowship
New Jersey's Camden City and Camden Diocese districts operate in one of the nation's poorest cities, where 29 of the 33 schools are in need of improvement. Teachers who have had limited access to professional development will be able to participate in activities that include two multiday colloquia, a 2-day field study, 4.5 days of research and review, 12 live videoconferences, and a 5-day summer institute, all eligible for graduate credit. These events will combine content information with instruction on using Web 2.0 resources and powerful classroom strategies. Project leaders will recruit 40 teachers into each 1-year program, screening for those from schools with the greatest need. In addition, the project will help five teachers become content specialists; they will receive additional training so they can replicate project activities for other history teachers. The project aims to immerse fellows in proven, research-based strategies for teaching traditional American history, thus enabling them to engage students in a higher level of thinking and learning. Fellows will learn to use the American Institute for History Education's history frameworks and signature strategies, and they will also become familiar with binary Paideia as an organizing tool for classroom instruction. Using their access to CICERO and other online resources, fellows will research and develop lessons that apply the Understanding by Design approach. Lesson plans and other project work will be published on the project Web site, and teacher- and student-created video resources will be available on TeacherTube.com. Fellows will work with content specialists to help other history teachers by modeling, reviewing lesson plans and coaching.