The West as U.S. (2007-2010)

Title: “The West as U.S.”
LEA: Bozeman School District, Bozeman, MT
Partners: Montana State University’s (MSU) Department of History and Philosophy and Department of Native American Studies, the National Council for History Education (NCHE), and the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL)
Project Wiki: The West as U.S. Participant Wiki

West As U.S. Final Performance Report

Project Abstract
“The West as U.S.” is a three-year professional development project dedicated to teaching traditional American history through the use of biography, America’s founding documents, and museum-based artifacts. By focusing on the centrality of the American West for America’s national history during three turning points in American history—the era of the American Revolution and early national period, the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the era of the Great Depression and the Second World War—we will advance teachers’ understanding of and ability to teach traditional American history. This project relies on the expertise of our partners to provide comprehensive professional development for 36, K-12 teachers, organized into Professional Learning Teams, across 18 Montana counties in order to improve teachers’ and students’ understanding of traditional American history. The content focus is on teaching history to both teachers and students through America’s founding documents, artifacts and the interpretative tools that historians employ in “doing history.” The project will be disseminated, through twice-yearly colloquia, summer institutes, teacher project learning teams, and concurrent American history sessions at the annual Montana Education Association meetings, to an audience of over 3,500 teachers statewide–no small accomplishment in a state as vast as Montana. The Montana Council for History Education will provide an additional organizational basis for a network of teachers and administrators committed to improving the teaching of American history. Through NWREL’s evaluation design, “The West as U.S.” will provide empirical data on the results of our efforts to improve the teaching of American history locally, regionally, and across the state of Montana.

MCHCE's The West as U.S.