PUHSD History Teachers Participate in U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant

Posted by Community Relations Department at 7/5/2012

Phoenix Union history teachers continued their participation in the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant. This year, the thirty social studies teachers focused on the 19th century, culminating in Arizona statehood.

The year culminated in the annual June field study week--a bus tour with University of Arizona Professor Katherine Morrissey through northern New Mexico (Acoma, Taos, and Laguna Pueblos, Santa Fe and Pecos National Monuments) and northern Arizona (Four Corners, Hubbell Trading Post, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Jerome). The group stayed in historic inns – a favorite was the restored La Posada in Winslow.

Teachers led student projects for the Arizona Centennial which will be posted on the centennial website; these range from online productions about the historic districts surrounding MetroTech to materials about Alhambra’s 50th anniversary.

In December, the grant cadre went to the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference in Washington DC, where teachers presented a session addressing materials for teaching about the Latino southwest. They also attended clinics at Smithsonian museums, the State Department, Congress, the Supreme Court, Mount Vernon, the Newseum, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives.

Saturday sessions brought national experts to Phoenix museums and archives for the teachers: social studies technology expert Tom Daccord, history and literacy expert Fran Macko, and University of Arizona historian of the west Katherine Morrissey. In April, the group traveled with art historians to Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson.

The three-year course of study, entitled Colonial to Centennial: American & Arizona History (C2C), introduces content instruction and materials that integrate the colonial and territorial history of the Southwest, and especially of Arizona, with the typical scope and sequence in U.S. History courses.

PUHSD is one of the last school districts in the United States to win a Teaching American History grant from the Department of Education. The program was discontinued in recent budget cuts to education, but the $1.6 million grant to Phoenix Union continues.