Below are descriptions and information for all grants awarded in the state of Texas.
University of Texas at Tyler (UTT)
Grant awarded March 18, 2016
The University of Texas at Tyler is an active provider of professional development for educators in East Texas. The rationale for their TPS grant is to utilize the teaching of primary sources as a method of developing needed 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, and communication in K-12 teachers and students. As part of a three-pronged action plan, UTT will offer a summer institute for teachers in 2017 to gain strategies for using primary sources in the classroom. Other components of their plan include infusing TPS into methods classes for elementary and secondary teachers and creating an online graduate course for in-service teachers. UTT will use Edthena software to provide feedback and coaching to their in-service participants in a way that would not be possible face-to-face over such a large geographic area. Based on the Texas Essential Knowledge Standards (TEKS), UTT plans to interweave TPS into the teaching of topics such as the Great Depression, coal towns and child labor, and natural disasters in Texas.
Education Service Center Region 13
Grant Awarded: July 25, 2013
Education Service Center Region 13 provides education support and professional development to over 60 school districts in Austin, TX and surrounding areas. Through their TPS regional grant, “The Social Studies Critical Thinking Lab”, Region 13 promoted the development of teacher-created lab activities specifically designed to engage students and foster their historical thinking skills. A cohort of Region 13 teachers in elementary, middle and high schools embarked on the journey toward using this method of instruction which promotes student discovery through reading, thinking, writing, and sometimes wrestling through documents to learn in-depth meaning of content. The cohort completed a group book study on Bruce Lesh’s “Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?: Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12.” Each participant also selected and received one other book about inquiry to support them in creating their labs. Another major goal was to utilize Region 13’s professional videography crew to capture students and teachers as they engaged in lab work. Lastly, the Social Studies Critical Thinking Lab webpage was created to as a resource for educators who are interested in fostering students’ historical thinking skills using labs. According to grant coordinators,
“Both teachers and students became more familiar with the Library of Congress resources, and participant feedback reflects that the focus on critical thinking skills impacted teacher practice and student engagement.”
Several congressional districts were reached in nine different school districts and six high schools. The webpage has been very well received with 499 page views since its June 4th debut. The videos, accompanied by the corresponding Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and materials for each lab, may be accessed through the Critical Thinking webpage at http://ctl.esc13.net/. Region 13 plans to continue to offer support and services aligned with the Critical Thinking Lab approach so that more resources may be added over time and the website can serve as a living resource for Texas teachers.
Hays Consolidated ISD
Grant awarded July 15, 2013
The Hays Consolidated Independent School District is bringing TPS to their teachers through the regional grant, "Primary Literate - Engaging Teachers with Primary Sources to Create Historically Literate Students." One of the overarching goals is to implement Teaching with Primary Sources materials and tools into the curriculum as a common instructional practice. Hays CISD will also be working with Dr. Lynn Denton and the Bob Bullock State History Museum to explore physical documents and artifacts that will enrich their program through the personal experience of the historical narrative. The initial Level I workshop was held on August 13-14, 2013 for 21 teacher leaders. In the words of grant coordinator Amy Bradfield,
“The teachers were amazed by all the resources available to them at just a click of the mouse and really appreciated the activities that Cindy and Taylor shared for teachers to use the sources in their classrooms.”
The Social Studies Vertical Instruction Team will be working with teachers over the next several months to embed LOC materials into the appropriate units of study in the district curriculum.
Round Rock ISD
Contact: Carolyn Austin - Discrectionary Grant Coordinator; Tina Melcher - Lead Curriculum Specialist K-12 Social Studies
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Grant awarded April 4, 2013
The Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) developed the Aligned Round Rock Curriculum (ARRC), a curriculum map encompassing and exceeding the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. There was a great need throughout the school district to improve students' abilities in using primary sources to improve critical thinking skills such as making historical arguments and geographic claims. Through their TPS regional grant, RRISD provided professional development to Social Studies teachers and librarians from elementary, middle, and high schools on accessing and using primary sources from the Library of Congress website. The initial one-day workshop was held in May 2013, followed by a two-day workshop in June. Teachers gathered primary sources aligned to the ARRC and stored them in Livebinders linked to the district’s curriculum website for teachers to easily access.
Once teachers had better access to primary sources, they worked closely with Rachel Hernandez of the Education Service Center Region 13 to create lesson plans utilizing primary sources. Replicating the model used in the Region 13 TPS grant, teachers participated in an online book study using the book “Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?” by Bruce Lesh and were trained in developing critical thinking labs. According to Tina Melcher,
“The grant has given the Round Rock ISD Teaching and Learning Department good tools to improve the gathering and explaining of primary sources by students.”
Tina and Rachel presented the results of their grants at state-wide social studies conferences and at the 2014 NCSS Conference in Boston.
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Grant awarded January 26, 2011
Through a TPS regional grant, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza expanded its successful one-day teacher training workshop into a five-day intensive teacher Institute that provided educators with interpretive tools to fully analyze the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy and the impact of his November 22, 1963 assassination on the state, nation and world. Held during the last week of July 2011, teachers gained an overview of the LOC website and how to use primary sources to teach students about presidential succession. The TPS Institute culminated in a mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald using sources from the Museum’s permanent collections.
Follow-up communication to all participants encouraged them to share their use of primary sources, continue to develop Annotated Resource Sets (ARS) and use the Institute’s online wiki for collaboration. Sharron Conrad noted the impact of the TPS Institute at a variety of levels.
“The wider Dallas community is better informed about the Museum’s collections, its goals for education and its partnership with the Library of Congress, LRE and State Department of Education as a result of the Institute, due to high profile press coverage in The Dallas Morning News. The Museum has secured a corps group of supportive teachers who understand its goals and the value of its collections.”
University of Texas at Austin - Hemispheres International Outreach Consortium
Contact: Natalie Arsenault - Outreach Director, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Grant awarded January 14, 2011
Hemispheres is the international outreach consortium at the University of Texas at Austin, providing free and low-cost content-based teacher training and standards-aligned curriculum development and instructional resources in a variety of formats and levels to K–12 educators and curriculum specialists around the state of Texas. Funding from the TPS regional grant was initially used to provide a two-day Level I workshop to 27 educators in August 2011. Given the focus on world history, presenters Michelle Pearson and Sally Purath highlighted the resources of the World Digital Library.
This workshop not only provided Texas educators with an opportunity to work with primary sources, it also familiarized the Hemispheres staff on how to disseminate the TPS program and LOC resources. As Natalie Arsenault reported, response to their series of one-day TPS workshops in school districts throughout the state has been high.
"We knew that TPS would be well received by the teachers with whom we work, but we have been surprised by the level of enthusiasm. It has caused us to think about how to continue and even expand this project…. We will continue to work with LOC collections long after the grant expires."
Grant coordinators estimated that over 3,800 teachers have been reached, including dissemination through their weekly e-bulletins and quarterly newsletters, with teaching loads of over 300,000 students. Over the course of the grant, Hemispheres presented ten workshops at nine locations across the state of Texas.
Northside Independent School District
Grant awarded January 11, 2011
The Northside Independent School District (NISD) is located in San Antonio, and is the largest school system in south Texas, fourth largest in the state, and the 31st largest district in the nation. NISD currently serves 95,000 students in 110 schools. The dual focus of this grant was to provide elementary teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to use primary sources in the classroom and to facilitate collaboration with the smaller rural districts of Lytle ISD, Lavernia ISD and Judson ISD. Initial grant activity began with a 3-day Level I workshop presented by Michelle Pearson and Sally Purath to 30 teachers in June 2011. Subsequent professional development activities focused on developing and evaluating the resource sets developed by the core group of teachers and writing essential questions based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum.
After a year of implementation, grant coordinators felt they had developed a select cadre of teachers to disseminate TPS to the 70 Northside elementary schools and surrounding districts. “At the conclusion of this grant period, NISD has witnessed many teacher achievements and grassroots effort to use the Library of Congress site and materials as a major aspect of historical inquiry.”
St. Edward's University
Grant awarded February 2, 2010
Located in Austin, Texas, St. Edward's University and the State Bar of Texas/Law Focused Education, Inc. work together to educate current and future educators on a variety of topics including using primary sources in P-16 education. The kick-off event for this grant was a two-day workshop, Critical Thinking with Primary Sources, presented in July 2010. Peggy O'Neill-Jones, Diane Watkins and Mary Johnson presented a Level I workshop to 33 teachers who had been successfully recruited from throughout Texas. This initial training led to awareness presentations to over 174 Texas teachers on February 2, 2010 at the Law Related Education Conference and at St. Edward's student meetings. Over 300 additional teachers and librarians were trained by Elizabeth Arredondo, Social Studies and Instructional Specialist from Judson, TX in August, 2010.
A TPS presentation was made at the Library Resource Roundup by St. Edward's librarians and faculty on September 17, 2010 to 40 participants. Faculty and librarians from St. Edward's presented "Collaboration in the Digital Age" at an international conferences in Austin on October 27, 2011. It is estimated that a total of 866 teachers have been reached as of December 2011. This grant also led to the creation of three websites to further disseminate TPS and the development of a bookmark with a "QR code" that provides web accessible sources related to TPS.