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Warsaw Township

In this small, rural district in southwestern New York, few students score at the mastery level on the New York State U.S. History Regents exam, and all teachers surveyed as part of an assessment cited a need for additional professional development in American history. Each year, the project teachers will attend (1) a 2-day fall colloquium, (2) a 2-day winter colloquium, (3) 1 day of CICERO training, (4) 2 half-days of research and review, and (5) a 3-day summer institute. During these sessions, they will analyze historical content with noted scholars and explore innovative research-based theoretical frameworks and instructional strategies. All teachers in the district will be invited to attend 12 live evening videoconferences per year, involving various scholars and teachers across the nation. The project will recruit 30 teachers per year, with some participating for multiple years. Participants will focus on crucial political, economic, legal and social events and issues in American history by researching primary documents, personalities, turning points, contemporary issues, historiographies, geography, economics and political thought. They will structure this content within the Binary Paideia program and learn how to examine historical topics through the lens of a historian, demonstrating to their students how to research historical materials. In addition, they will create historical narratives, lessons and innovative instructional activities. A project Web site will feature instructional strategies, lesson plans and other teacher- and student-generated materials, such as digital video resources, a wiki and blogs.