You could teach a lot of history teachers for a million dollars. At least, that is the intent of historians at Portland State, who are teaming up with the Oregon Historical Society and Portland-area middle and high schools for the Teaching American History Project, a three year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The project will provide training to 90 teachers of U.S. history and social studies.
This is the second, three-year grant the partnership has received. Faculty members and historians help educate teachers on American history, with a focus on 19th-century America for middle schools, and 20th-century for high schools. During the previous grant period, teachers explored historical topics that ranged from "Continental Expansion and the Jeffersonian Vision" to "Immigration, Ethnic Groups and Urban Policy, 1950-1980" and "Vice and Social Reform in Portland."
Teachers take graduate classes and attend a two-week summer institute at PSU, where they learn new teaching skills while expanding their own historical knowledge. PSU faculty play a key role through the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies' Community Geography Project, which provides training in geographic information systems (GIS) technology, allowing teachers to develop interactive Web components for new curriculum.