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BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 Fellowship

Teachers in these north-central Pennsylvania districts have had limited access to history-related professional development. The project is divided into four tiers. In Tier One, 40 teachers will research and study the political, economic, legal, social and ideological contrasts in history; each year, these teachers will attend a 2-day fall colloquium, a 3-day winter colloquium, a 2-day field study, 4 half days of research and review, and a 5-day summer institute. All 432 secondary social studies teachers and all 503 elementary-level teachers in the consortium will attend 1.5 days of CICERO training as part of Tier Two; these sessions will demonstrate how to integrate multimedia and new technology into history classrooms. All American history teachers will be invited to attend monthly online professional development sessions as part of Tier Three. Tier Four will consist of 20 teachers, who will create a bimonthly history book club and discussion group. The themes will examine traditional American history through the lenses of conflict and cooperation. Teachers will create their own Web 2.0 site using 21st-century skills and features like wikis and blogs, develop peer-reviewed U.S. history teacher narratives and lessons, and read biographies and other histories. As a result, they will be able to show students how to research substantive historical content and how to collaborate with fellow students, teachers, historians and history education specialists to create historical narratives. The project Web site will be a central repository for products and information, including colloquium schedules, lesson plans, digital resources and photos of various activities. In addition, the site will include teacher-vetted student work.