Essential American History, 2006-2008, is a three-year professional development
program designed for teachers from grades 5, 8, and 9-12 to:
increase teacher knowledge of traditional American history
create a culture of collaboration among American history teachers, historians, and historical institutions
craft powerful, significant, and focused American history units in effort to increase student achievement, interest, and engagement in traditional American history
encourage student growth as informed and productive American citizens
The Parkway and Rockwood School Districts located in the western suburbs of historic St. Louis, Missouri are partnering with Webster University, Westminster College, Colonial Williamsburg, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Center for the Study of the Civil War, Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, the Organization of American Historians, and the Churchill Library and Museum. Other partners include presidential libraries and museums established for the study of Presidents Lincoln, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton.
The professional development program includes lectures, discussions, book talks, and field trips. Content focuses on areas of American history required for targeted grades. For example, fifth grade participants will focus on Colonial America, eighth grade participants will focus on the Civil War, and High School participants will focus on the Cold War Era. The use of primary source materials will be emphasized throughout the program.
The work of Essential American History is on-going with on-line lesson access, sustained on-line collaboration with grant partners, and teacher mentor programs in the schools.
Essential American History has been funded by the US Department of Education's Teaching American History Grant program in the amount of $957,000. All TAH materials on this website are available for public use at no charge.