MCPS Awarded Grant to Improve U.S. History Instruction

August 9, 2010
   The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a nearly $1 million grant to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) that will help enhance the teaching of American history at all grade levels.
   The Teaching American History Grant will support a new, three-year professional development program for MCPS teachers called “Unveiling History,” which focuses on deepening knowledge of U.S. history and strengthening teachers’ ability to use historical thinking and analytical skills. MCPS has partnered with George Mason University and the Maryland Historical Society to develop this high-quality, content-rich program.
   Through one and two-week long summer institutes, as well workshops throughout the academic year, “Unveiling History” is designed to increase teachers’ knowledge of traditional American history. The intense professional development program is also meant to strengthen teachers’ ability to analyze primary sources such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and improve their ability to meld content and historical thinking into teaching the subject. The ultimate aim of the program is to boost students’ knowledge of U.S. history, and increase their ability to analyze primary sources.
   The program is designed primarily for fourth and fifth grade teachers, U.S. History teachers in grades 8 and 9, as well as teachers of special education and English for Speakers of Other Languages. However, the program is open to all MCPS teachers.
   The summer institute courses, which will focus mostly on delivering history content and the basics of historical thinking skills, will be taught by history professors from colleges and universities in the region.
   The Education Department awards the Teaching American History grants to school districts on a competitive basis. MCPS is one of 124 districts that won a grant this year. They are the largest such national grants awarded for history and social studies.

U.S. Department of Education Press Release

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