Establishing, Expanding, and Contesting Freedoms will ensure that project teachers examine and improve their understanding of the relationship of historical events to vital themes in U.S. history and effective instructional practices to help students engage in American history and enable them to engage in historical writing – the search to reconstruct what went before, a quest illuminated by ever-changing prisms that continually place old questions in a new light.
The multiple opportunities to participate in the study of U.S. history and interact with national and local historians and history education specialists will enable the secondary history teachers in Blue Springs Schools, Belton, Kansas City, Fort Osage, Adrian, Raytown, Archie, University Academy, Smithville, and North Kansas City School Districts to focus on in-depth American history content, integrate national and local American history resources and primary materials, identify and apply best practices for content delivery, and create a peer network focused on American history in order to impact student achievement in American history. The yearly 36 project teachers include teachers from schools targeted for improvement by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. They will spend a minimum of 17 days each year examining the American history vital themes and content-specific pedagogy.
The program consists of : a 3-day NCHE Colloquium, a 10-day Summer Institute, a 1-day Fall Workshop, Peer Network meetings, Special American history events, Website resources, and an opportunity to earn up to 6 hours per year towards their Master’s in History through UMKC. Each event will cover a different module: Establishing American Freedoms: Historical Perspectives on the Founding Documents, Expanding American Freedoms: Historical Perspectives on Political Reform and Contesting American Freedoms: Decision-Making in Historical Context.
The goal of this project is to provide teachers with specific skills to assist students in critically reading American history content and to support students in advanced American history studies. In order to reach its goal, this project will link American history secondary teachers in the Blue Springs Schools, Belton, Kansas City, Fort Osage, Adrian, Raytown, Archie, University Academy, Smithville, and North Kansas City School Districts with local and national libraries and museums in terms of content, context practices, and resources.