Below are descriptions and information for all grants awarded in the state of Texas.
Houston Independent School District
Contact: Dr. Montra Rogers and Cynthia Fairbanks – Project Directors
Grant awarded July 31, 2019
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas serving over 200,000 students. This grant will support the district’s Secondary Social Studies Curriculum and Development team’s efforts to further develop four cohorts of secondary social studies teacher leaders as they learn effective strategies and methods. This professional development program includes the intentional teaching of primary sources in classrooms to support literacy in social studies pedagogy. The culminating product from this project will be the development of complete DBQ units based upon resources available from the Library of Congress.
University of Texas at San Antonio
Contact: Omar Valerio-Jiménez – Associate Professor
Grant awarded June 12, 2019
This project will introduce secondary teachers and teacher candidates to using primary sources for teaching Mexican American History. This project will fill the need created by Texas Board of Education's recent approval of a new high school history course entitled "Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies." The training workshop will include historical content by Dr. Valerio-Jiménez and other noted scholars as well as professional development in teaching Mexican American History with primary sources from the Library of Congress and other local collections. Participating teachers will develop original lesson plans and submit reflections on their classroom experiences. Collaborating organizations include the Mexican American Studies Program at UTSA, Humanities Texas, and various school districts in the San Antonio area.
Texas A&M University – San Antonio
Contacts: Karen L.B. Burgard, Caroline O’Quinn, and Michael L. Boucher, Jr.
Grant awarded May 21, 2019
Texas A&M University –San Antonio was established specifically to meet the needs of the diverse population on the south side of the city. The project will prepare teachers to create lessons, design activities, and select images that reflect the culture, heritage, and background of the students they teach. “Using Historical Photographs to Create Culturally Responsive Classrooms” will reach both pre-service students at the university and in-service teachers at the MLK Academy, a local K-8 school. The images, and supporting primary source materials, will specifically pertain to the people, culture, and history of San Antonio.
Contact: Andy Mink – Project Director
Grant awarded January 10, 2019
The National Humanities Council is an advocacy organization for advanced study in the humanities based in Triangle Park, North Carolina. Their project will build and deliver two inter-disciplinary online courses featuring materials from the Library of Congress which will be targeted towards teachers in the Western Region. One course will focus on “Becoming Visually Literate with Library of Congress Resources” while the second will address “Water Rights and Land Access: Native American History Today.” Both courses will integrate the research of university scholars with the high-quality resources of the Library of Congress to create an inquiry-based learning experience. Grant leaders plan to reach an initial audience of 80 teachers, but the course will be featured on their Humanities in Class online learning portal that reaches thousands of teachers each year.
St. Mary’s University
Contact: Dr. Lindsey Passenger Wieck – Assistant Professor of History & Director of Public History
Grant awarded April 16, 2018
St. Mary’s University is currently establishing an M.A. and graduate certificate program in Public History for K-12 teachers. The Public History graduate program combines traditional historical content and interpretation with tools and strategies that engage the public in the historical past and the world. The cornerstone of this regional grant will be a Writer’s Workshop, scheduled to take place as part of 2018 Western History Association (WHA) Conference. Partnering organizations include the WHA, University of Notre Dame, and the University of California Press.
The Writer’s Workshop will bring together 7-9 scholars including the grant co-directors Dr. Lindsey Passenger Wieck and Dr. Jason Heppler. The workshop will result in an edited book collection that develops a regional history of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. A K-12 teacher will be paired with each scholar for the purpose of developing lessons plans using the scholar’s chapter and primary sources. Both teachers and scholars will receive instruction and mentorship in integrating primary sources into their teaching. An editorial board will review all lessons to ensure quality and scholarly rigor. Teachers will be strongly encouraged to teach the lesson and reflect and revise accordingly. The WHA will provide space for participating teachers and scholars to share their experiences at both the 2018 and 2019 Conferences.
One of the main outcomes is to produce a digital companion for teachers at the K-12 level.
This type of edited historical collection with a series of digital lesson plans represents a novel approach for both scholarly research and teaching. Building on past collaborations and drawing on the resources of the Library of Congress, the co-directors are enthusiastic about implementing this innovative plan.
Sam Houston State University
Contact: Dr. Casey Creghan – Assistant Professor
Grant awarded December 12, 2016
Located in Huntsville Texas, Sam Houston State University’s College of Education works with hundreds of pre-service teachers each semester. They also partner with the surrounding educational community to meet the needs of in-service teachers through their Sam Houston Innovative Partnership for Schools (SHIPS) network. This project focused on providing quality professional development to pre-service and in-service teachers to increase the effective use of primary sources for instruction. The professional development plan included research-based instructional delivery techniques including inquiry, project-based Learning, and the 5E Instructional Model. This was accomplished by conducting a series of six workshops with methods students, giving teachers tools and resources for their classrooms, and encouraging dissemination through a trainer of trainers model. While the school districts involved in this project were deeply affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, project leadership still managed to reach approximately 200 pre-service and in-service teachers. One of the main outcomes was that pre-service teachers “… were excited about the impact that TPS can have on their students and plan to incorporate the concepts into their classrooms.” Grant Coordinator Casey Creghan also reflected, “We learned that TPS is not a one and done training. Many teachers (and future teachers) plan on using TPS to increase student engagement in their lessons.”
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 was to use 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 offered a summer institute for teachers in 2017 to gain strategies for using primary sources in the classroom. Other components of their plan included infusing TPS into methods classes for elementary and secondary teachers and creating an online graduate course for in-service teachers.
Colleen Swain reported the greatest success in teaching undergraduate students how to use primary sources in teaching various academic subjects. According to Colleen, “Our education majors continue to love using primary sources as a way for them to learn more content as well as teach their students social studies content. This effort has been successful and we will continue to engage in these activities with students so they feel proficient in teaching with primary sources.”
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.