Professional Development Programs

History Alive!

Mountain View, CA

Bert Bower, Executive Director, Teachers' Curriculum Institute, P.O. Box 1327, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741. To place an order, to obtain a calendar of upcoming events or to schedule a workshop call (800) 497-6138.

This professional development program provides teachers with access to teaching strategies, activities, and materials designed to engage students in learning history. The program was developed in 1989 by the Teachers' Curriculum Institute. The History Alive approach is based on six strategies developed by teachers who combined educational research and theory with the realities of classroom teaching. The strategies are designed to actively engage students, from various cultural backgrounds and possessing diverse learning styles, in the study of history. History Alive is composed of the following six strategies:

  1. Interactive Slide Lecture: Students view, touch, interpret, and act out historic images projected as slides. Teachers use questioning techniques, as students capture information in a unique notetaking style
  2. Experiential Exercise: Teachers recreate moments in history, such as the horrors of fighting trench warfare or the monotony of life on the assembly line, so students can more meaningfully understand significance of past events.
  3. Social Studies Skill Builders: Students sit in small groups to view slides depicting controversial historical events, such as the Boston Massacre and Japanese-American internment and discuss critical-thinking questions related to each slide. Students then defend their analysis to the rest of the class.
  4. Problem-Solving Groupwork: Students with a wide variety of learning styles sit in small groups to work on high-level problem-solving groupwork projects, such as creating a minidrama about life in the Great Depression or preparing a panel discussion on the best form of government.
  5. Writing for Understanding: This strategy challenges students to write forcefully and for a purpose, such as writing poetry about the experience of Chinese immigrants on Angel Island or reporting on an interview with a Vietnam veteran.

TCI has also developed a set of techniques and tools to help teachers implement History Alive. TCI has developed a ten-step approach that shows teachers how to create a classroom in which students learn to share ideas, work together cooperatively, tolerate differences, disagree agreeably, and take risks. TCI also shows teachers how to use Interactive Student Notebooks that allow students to use various writing and graphic techniques to organize and process information. Through History Alive training teachers learn new methods of assessment that emphasize multiple-ability assessment. This approach encourages students to use information and concepts in a variety of contexts. TCI offers a variety of professional development opportunities. Workshops are led by trainers who are classroom teachers. Trainers demonstrate History Alive's six teaching strategies, involve participants in model lessons, provide concrete ideas for creating curriculum, and discuss the theory of multiple intelligences and cooperative interaction. The Institute offers on-site, one-day workshops; on-site, two-day workshops; week-long summer institutes; and a series of regional, one-day workshops; professional conferences; and ongoing consultation. Materials for the following programs are available through TCI: Middle School World History Program, Middle School U.S. History Program, High School 20th Century U.S. History Program, and High School Modern World History Program. Program units include slides, activities, handouts, transparencies, lesson plans, and other materials.


National S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum: Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity

Wellesley, MA

For more information about the program or to obtain an application for summer workshops, contact Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02181, (617) 283-2520, FAX: (617) 283-2504; or Emily Style, 286 Meeker Street, South Orange, NJ 07079, (201) 763-6378, FAX: (201) 763-5670.

Since 1987 the National SEED Project has been establishing teacher-led faculty development seminars in public and private schools throughout the United States and in English-speaking international schools. To date over 300 teachers have led seminars in 32 U.S. states and Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taipei, Japan, Canada, and China. Over 5000 educators have participated in S.E.E.D. seminars to date. A week-long SEED Summer Leaders' Workshop prepares school teachers to hold year-long reading groups with other teachers to discuss strategies for making school curricula gender-fair and multicultural. At the Summer Workshop educators:

SEED reading and discussion groups meet monthly during the school year for three hours at a time. Groups include ten to twenty teachers from all subject areas and from one or more public and private schools. Each group is coordinated by one or two educators who have attended the New Leaders' Workshop during the previous summer.

Resource materials include books, articles, films, fiction, poetry, and other materials designed to foster participants' systemic understanding of gender, race, and class relations. Project developers feel that systemic perspectives are essential to transforming curriculum within and across disciplines. Leaders facilitate discussions about new scholarship, teaching methods, curriculum, and school climates. Group participants discuss the following questions: How can curriculum and pedagogy be made both gender-fair and multicultural? And how can curriculum and teaching methods provide, in the metaphors of Emily Style, both windows into others' experiences, and mirrors of each student's own reality and validity?

Once started, many S.E.E.D. discussion groups continue to meet for years. Such discussion has led to a network of local and international teachers and school administrators engaged in curriculum transformation and inclusive teaching practices.

Throughout the school year S.E.E.D. leaders can:

The National S.E.E.D. Project is based at Wellesley College Center for Research on Women where S.E.E.D. Project Director, Peggy McIntosh serves as an Associate Director. The first state branch of the S.E.E.D Project is located in Minnesota and has been in operation since 1990. The Minnesota branch is directed by experienced S.E.E.D. leader Cathy Nelson, a former Minnesota Teacher of the Year. The New Jersey branch of the S.E.E.D. project is now in its second year of operation under the leadership of Emily Style.


Learning to Teach Inner-City and Diverse Populations (LTICS)

Houston, TX

Jane Stallings or Nancy James, Educational Research Group, College of Education, Texas A&M University, 2121 Holcombe, Suite #214G, Houston TX 77030, (713) 677-7712, FAX (713) 677-7727.

In 1987, the Houston Teaching Academy, located on the campus of a combination elementary/middle school became the site for the Learning to Teach in Inner-City Schools project. The purpose of the program is to change how teachers think about instruction in inner-city schools and provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach effectively in urban settings among diverse student populations. The Academy includes a school site council and university-based council. LTICS uses a "triad" approach that links university supervisors, college supervisors, and student teachers to develop and learn effective strategies for educating inner-city students. Teachers and supervising teachers are observed and set goals for themselves at the beginning of the semester and are evaluated at the end of the semester. The Stallings Observation System (SOS) is utilized, which involves indepth observation of student and teachers behavior and interaction. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide professional development to teachers and student teachers so students will prosper academically and socially. Participants attend ten weekly, interactive seminars in a semester. Courses deal with some of the following issues:

The program is disseminated through LTICS Certified Trainers. During a 12-day training session (or a 5-day and a 7-day session) certified trainers train local observers to collect observation data and train local student teachers and teachers to conduct seminars. LTICS trainers are available in 15 states. LTICS is designed for use with low income, culturally diverse populations in school districts located near teacher-preparation colleges. The National Diffusion Network has approved the program for dissemination to all inner-city students in grades preK-12. Evaluation studies indicate that 80% of student teachers who graduate from the Houston Teaching Academy chose to teach in schools serving diverse populations. Students in the Houston Teaching Academy have achieved increasingly higher scores on achievement tests each year. Studies also indicate that student teachers demonstrate improved interactive instruction, organization, and behavior management skills. Those interested in adopting the program are required to either hire a LTICS Certified Trainer or send local personnel for training to become a Certified Trainer. Information about LTICS Trainers is available through the LTICS office.


SPARCS (Solving Problems & Revitalizing Curriculum in Science)

Omaha, NE

Dr. Elizabeth Kean, University of Nebraska, 118 Henzlik Hall, Lincoln NE, 68588, (402) 554-2428

SPARCS (Solving Problems & Revitalizing Curriculum in Science) began in 1989 as a partnership between the University at Nebraska-Lincoln and science teachers and administrators of Omaha Public Schools. The program provides two- and four-week summer workshops and ongoing support systems. Some financial support for the program has been provided through Eisenhower funds and the National Science Foundation's Teacher Enhancement Program. As of May 1994, 65% of Omaha's 130 public school science teachers have participated in SPARCS workshops and ongoing support initiatives. During summer workshops, teachers and university personnel develop strategies for creating multicultural classrooms that provide students with:

Teachers serve as coaches and mentors and hold the expectation that all students can learn. Through collaborative, action research, university personnel and teachers have developed strategies for meeting the above goals and for increasing students' scientific knowledge and understanding, and providing them access to scientific careers. Workshop activities relate to three main goals: improving cross-cultural interactions; collaborative learning; and the construction of alternative curricular approaches to teaching science, including the use of thematic units and problem-solving activities. Although the program is relatively new, teachers have noticed greater student engagement, improved academic performance, better attitudes toward science, and fewer disciplinary problems. In one high school, there has been rise in voluntary enrollment in science classes form 65% to 95%. The program has garnered much support from university faculty, central office administrators, and public school educators. In the future, program developers hope to seek external funding, further increase community support for the program, support peer mentoring, continue to integrate curriculum across disciplines, and build leadership capacity in a greater number of teachers.


Urban Teacher Education Program

Gary, Indiana

Dr. Charlotte Reed, Indiana University Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Sycamore Hall, 217, Gary, Indiana 46408, (219) 980-6889, FAX: 980-6846

UTEP is designed to prepare teachers to work with diverse student populations and deal with the complex social situations associated with working in urban school settings. The Urban Teacher Education Program offers students the opportunity to work closely with classroom teachers and university professors in the final two years of pre-service preparation for teaching. The program also provides a path to certification for graduates holding non-education degrees. UTEP is a school district and university consortium which includes: Indiana University Northwest; the East Chicago Public Schools and East Chicago Federation of Teachers; the Gary Community School Corporation and Gary Teachers Union; and the School City of Hammond and the Hammond Teachers' Federation. The program started in 1988 following planning by the schools, university, business sector, and the community. Funding is provided by Lily Endowment, Inc., the Indiana General Assembly and the four cooperating educational institutions. Three schools - one in each district and at each level - serve as Professional Development Centers. These exemplary schools provide preservice teacher preparation as well as professional development for school personnel. PDCs include: Franklin Elementary School, a recognized effective school in Gary; Eggers Middle School, a national exemplary school in Hammond; and Central High School, a consolidated school in East Chicago. Lincoln Elementary School in East Chicago and Horace Mann High School in Gary serve as associate sites. UTEP is one of few teacher preparation programs in the country which:

UTEP expects to accomplish several key school improvement goals:


These materials are excerpted from a draft version of Promising Programs and Practices in Multicultural Education (1995, forthcoming), produced by NCREL's Urban Education Program.

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