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Teaching Fellows Program Summary

Year 1 Teaching Fellows Profiles (2006 - 2007)

Year 2 Teaching Fellows Profiles (2007 - 2008)

Year 3 Teaching Fellows Profiles (2008 - 2009)

While we anticipate the Content Delivery Design to provide valuable professional development for a high number of American history teachers, the key thread to explicitly maximize the impact of these activities will be the Teaching Fellows Program. Annually we will identify a cadre of “Teaching Fellows” that serve a one-year commitment to more deeply connect the content of grant activities with a strong pedagogical approach to teaching American history. These ten teachers will represent the best of the profession from each county, and our goal is to create and support a strong collegial culture that provides professional, personal, and scholarly growth. Chosen through an application process based on diversity, criteria for acceptance into this esteemed program will include (but not be limited to) years of teaching history experience, educational background, and grade level taught. During their tenure, the Teaching Fellows will be required to attend all six seminars. They will receive annual memberships to historical organizations like the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. They will engage in “brown bag” roundtables with university scholars in which the professor will present a one-hour lecture and then conduct to share approaches to research, questions that guided their work, and teaching strategies and best practices in their classrooms.

Additionally, Teaching Fellows will work closely with the Director of the Teaching Fellows Program create a portfolio that includes a learning log detailing their growth as a student of history. The portfolio will contain learning activities they have developed, student work samples, and reflections on their growth as a teacher of historical thinking. The portfolio will serve as a means for documenting and assessing teacher growth. The Teaching Fellows will be expected to present their work to their colleagues at each Teacher Institute and will be encouraged to also present at national history and history education conferences.

The work of the Teaching Fellows Program will be designed to be authentic and valuable to both the teaching field and the historical community. For example, teachers will engage in a five day Teacher Institute with the Polis Center at IUPUI to focus on using spatial technology in the teaching of American history in Year One. During Year Two, the Teaching Fellows cohort will integrate these innovative technologies to create content-specific instructional models for use by the teachers in the consortium. Through the Brown Bag Lunch series, the Teaching Fellows will continue to work with scholars from the Polis Center. Partnerships with the Virginia Center for Digital History, the Library of Congress, and the Virginia Historical Society will provide support for the Teaching Fellows to create a sustainable, long-term project titled “Digital Virginia” that will become a model to share both teaching strategies and content-based activities as well as inform future historical projects.

Each year a new Teaching Fellows cadre will be chosen, but in an effort to create a sustainable community of leaders in the American history field, previous Teaching Fellows will be integrated into the work of subsequent cohorts. In the year(s) following their tenure, these Master Teaching Fellows will participate the implementation of the program, including the evaluation process of the portfolios, help design curriculum and identify resources for the Virtual Community, facilitate Brown Bag lunches, and serve as mentors in their division for other history teachers. We anticipate this continued investment to directly address the need for qualified, highly trained and dedicated American history teachers in leadership roles, and we plan to support these initiatives to encourage their growth as teachers and professionals.

The activities created as a part of the Teaching Fellows program will incorporate the following recommendations as outlined by the National Council for History Education:

• Classroom practices should go beyond the textbook.

• Classroom methodology should center on the active processes of research and interpretation, maintain a balance between depth and general background knowledge, and pursue connections among historical ideas.

Before teachers can employ these strategies in their classroom, they themselves must master them and feel comfortable in their use. Support for teachers as they embark on designing new learning activities for their students is vital. Developing leadership capacity within the ranks of American history teachers will assist in making the investment of time and talent continuing and sustainable.



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