The Teaching American History Project : Lessons for History Educators and Historians book cover
1st Edition

The Teaching American History Project
Lessons for History Educators and Historians

ISBN 9780415988827
Published May 14, 2009 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

The premise of the Teaching American History (TAH) project—a discretionary grant program funded under the U.S. Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act— is that in order to teach history better, teachers need to know more history. Unique among professional development programs in emphasizing specific content to be taught over a particular pedagogical approach, TAH grants assist schools in implementing scientifically-based research methods for improving the quality of instruction, professional development, and teacher education in American history.

Illustrating the diversity of these programs as they have been implemented in local education agencies throughout the nation, this collection of essays and research reports from TAH participants provides models for historians, teachers, teacher educators, and others interested in the teaching and learning of American History, and presents examples of lessons learned from a cross-section of TAH projects. Each chapter presents a narrative of innovation, documenting collaboration between classroom, community, and the academy that gives immediate and obvious relevance to the teaching and learning process of American history. By sharing these narratives, this book expands the impact of emerging practices from individual TAH projects to reach a larger audience across the nation.

Table of Contents


Sam Wineburg, Stanford University


Part I: Emerging Practices for Historians

Part I Introduction

  1. Teachers as Historians: A Historian’s Experiences with TAH Projects
  2. Kelly A. Woestman, Pittsburg (KS) State University

  3. A New Focus for the History Professoriate: Professional Development for History Teachers as Professional Development for Historians
  4. Peter Knupfer, Michigan State University and H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online

  5. Engaging At-Risks Students: Teaching American Military History
  6. G. L. Seligman, University of North Texas

  7. Lost in Translation: The Use of Primary Sources in Teaching History
  8. Laura M. Westhoff, University of Missouri-St. Louis

    Part II: Emerging Practices for Classroom Teachers

    Part II Introduction

  9. Through the Lens of Local History: Enriching Instruction Using
    Regional Primary Sources
  10. Donald D. Owen and Katherine Barbour, Urbana. IL School District #116,

  11. Introducing Teachers to Archives and Archivists (and Vice Versa)
  12. Tim Rives, Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum

    Teachers’ Voices in Teaching American History Projects

    David Gerwin, Queens College/CUNY

  13. History in Every Classroom: Setting a K-5 Precedent
  14. Elise Fillpot, University of Iowa

    Part III: Emerging Practices for Professional Development

    Part III Introduction

  15. Teaching American History Projects in Illinois: A Comparative Analysis of Professional Development Models
    Rachel Ragland, Lake Forest College.
  16. Finding Common Ground: Conditions for Effective Collaboration between Education and History Faculty in Teacher Professional Development
  17. Dawn Abt-Perkins, Lake Forest College

  18. Designing and Implementing Content-based Professiona Development for Teachers of American History
  19. Ann Marie Ryan, Loyola University Chicago and Frank Valadez, Chicago Public Schools

  20. Artifacts as Inspiration: Building Connections Between Museum Educators and Classroom Teachers
  21. D. Lynn McRainey, Chicago History Museum and Heidi Moisan, Chicago Historical Society

  22. How to Evaluate Teaching American History Projects
  23. Julie Kearney, University of Iowa, Emily Lai, University of Iowa and Donald Yarbrough, University of Iowa

    Part IV: Emerging Practices in a Larger Perspective

    Part IV Introduction

  24. Mirrors, Mutuality of Interest, and Opportunities to Learn: The TAH Program, Assessment, and Faculty

Robert Rook, Towson State University

Teaching American History: Observation from the Fringes

Cary D. Wintz, Texas Southern University



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Rachel G. Ragland is Assistant Professor of Education at Lake Forest College. She currently

serves as the Director of Clinical Partnerships for the Education Department and is a national co-editor for the H-NET Humanities and Social Sciences Online Discussion Network on Teaching American History. She was Assistant Academic Director for the Model Collaboration: Rethinking American History TAH grant from 2001-2004 and a TAH grant reviewer in 2007.

Kelly A. Woestman is Professor of History and History Education Director at Pittsburg (KS) State University. She has written or co-written twelve Teaching American History grants, and has served as Project Director for 5 grants in Kansas and as external evaluator for TAH grants in Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado, and Maryland. A founding editor of the H-TAH list community, she was elected President of H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online ( for 2009.


"…This book will be of great use to faculty and graduate students…it includes many interesting and enlightening anecdotes. Summing up: Recommended."--CHOICE

"The editors have organized the book well….In the right hands, The Teaching American History Project might coax historians to nurture relationships with K-12 teachers. Collegial historians might collaborate with education faculty to design a historical methods course. College teachers who wish to expand their repertoire beyond the traditional lecture will find encouragement in this book."--Teaching History: A Journal of Methods