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 Learning Our Community's American Lore

Press Release, October 2004

For Immediate Release
October, 2004

Tufts University implements Project LOCAL (Learning Our Community’s American Lore), a teacher training institute in collaboration with the school districts of Everett, Medford, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop and the Shore Educational Collaborative.

The purpose of the three-year grant is to train teachers to incorporate local examples of American history from the seventeenth century through the late twentieth century into traditional American history curriculum. Project LOCAL teachers will develop curriculum in which students learn to think like and do the work of historians by learning the narrative of American history, the practice of historical research and ways of connecting the national experience to their local community. In exploring history through local sites, students engage in learning about their own lives and communities.

For the three years of the grant life, Project LOCAL will directly involve approximately 75% of the teachers of American History in each district and will impact on over 4,800 students (approximately 964 students per district).

Project LOCAL will host a series of professional development workshops in which participating teachers meet with historians at sites with community, regional and national significance. Additionally, throughout the duration of Project LOCAL teachers meet with renowned curriculum developers, Dr. Steven Cohen and Mr. Steven Levy to explore teaching strategies that foster higher-order thinking skills.

The online course tools and video-based teaching cases developed through Project LOCAL will be available to teachers nationwide. The first of these cases will be uploaded by spring 2005 and will continue to serve as a resource for further implementation of projects in these and other communities beyond the life of the grant.

Local historical sites, including The Judge Corwin House, The Royal House, The Crowninshield-Bentley House, Revere Beach, Somerville Theater and UMass-Boston, will partner to support the individual community effort.

(*see Project LOCAL advisory group)

For more information on Project LOCAL contact Daniel Cogan-Drew, Tufts University, Department of Education at (617) 627-4764.

* Project LOCAL advisory group will include administrators, parents and historical society members in each district as well as Dr. Christopher Capozzola (Assistant Professor of American History at Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The grant team includes

  • Dr. Calvin Carpenter (K-12 History Curriculum Director, Medford Public Schools),
  • Mr. Joseph Burke (Head of History, Somerville High School),
  • Ms. Lissa Onderdunk (Shore Educational Collaborative),
  • Daniel Cogan-Drew (Tufts University, Dept. of Education),
  • Mr. Robert McGreevey (Brandeis University),
  • Dr. Steven Cohen (Tufts University, Dept. of History and Education),
  • Dr. Evan Haefeli (Tufts University, Dept. of History) and
  • Mr. Steven Levy (Lexington Public Schools, Expeditionary Learning/Outward Bound).

Shore Collaborative  •   Department of Education at Tufts  •   TAH Grant Program
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