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History Department, Hays CISD land “Teaching American History” grant

Date released: 10/02/03

SAN MARCOS — The Department of History at Texas State University-San Marcos has been awarded a $287,000 contract under the U.S. Department of Education’s “Teaching American History” initiative.

The Texas State contract is part of a larger $760,224 grant made to the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. Hays CISD is one of 114 school districts in 38 states that will receive nearly $100 million as a result of the program. The Teaching American History initiative supports three-year projects to improve teachers’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation for American history through intensive, ongoing professional development.

History faculty will provide in-depth training in American history content and pedagogy for 40 Hays CISD teachers annually during the three-year program. In 2004-2006, the Texas State faculty will host week-long summer institutes, participate in monthly professional development sessions provided for the school teachers and create and maintain a list serve and web site dedicated to the exchange of lesson plans and ideas between faculty and Hays CISD teachers. Other professional development experiences and the adoption of the History Alive! curriculum are included in the project.

The summer institutes will be devoted to three chronological periods of American history: Year One 1500 to 1763; Year Two 1763 to 1877; and Year Three 1877 to Present. Different historical themes will be the focus of the daily sessions: Monday, political/governmental; Tuesday, socio-economic; Wednesday, cultural; Thursday, legal/constitutional. Fridays will be used for immersion activities at historical sites, including the San Antonio Missions National Park. Afternoons will concentrate on pedagogy and integration of primary source materials in lesson plans.