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About the Project (2008 - 2011)

TeachingAmericanHistory.us is a Teaching American History Grant awarded to the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California by the US Department of Education in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley and the Oakland Museum. For information about the project contact Stan Pesick, Project Director . For more information about the grant follow this link to the Dept of Education website.

Announcing a Professional Development Opportunity for OUSD American History Teachers ? Grades 4, 5, 8, and 11. We are pleased to announce that Oakland Unified School District has been awarded a third three-year federal grant to support professional development for teachers of American History, grades 4, 5, 8, and 11. The award of this grant provides us a wonderful and unique opportunity to continue the work of promoting the teaching and learning of American History in our district. You can view the work of our first two grants, and gain insight into what the project offers teacher participants, at our project website teachingamericanhistory.us

This project is a collaboration between the Oakland Unified School District and the University of California, Berkeley, Department of History and History/Social Science Project; The Oakland Museum of California; and the Peralta Hacienda House. Below are the project?s three main goals.

  • Increase and deepen teacher knowledge and understanding of American History.
  • Increase and deepen teacher knowledge and understanding of how to use historical inquiry and historical thinking to deepen student knowledge and understanding of American History.
  • Increase and deepen teacher knowledge of how to integrate reading, writing, and history to improve student academic and historical literacy skills.
Yearliy Content Themes - American history content theme for each year of this project?s professional development program.

year 1
(2008 ? 2009)

year 2
(2009 ? 2010)
year 3
(2010 ? 2011)

4th and 5th grade

A Focus on early American history
?Wealth and Freedom: A Focus on America's Economic History?

Investigating the connections and tensions between the creation of wealth and the struggle for freedom.

?Democracy and Equality: A Focus on America's Political History?

Investigating the ways in which definitions of democracy have been contested over time

?America and its Dream: A Focus on the History of American Ideas and Culture?

Investigating the philosophies, words, and images that shaped the American past.

8th & 11th grades

A focus on the 19th and 20th centuries

How you can participate

1. Become a ?core program? participant

(limited to 50 participants)
  • Attend, in each of the project?s three years, five after school historical talks
  • Participate with other grant participants in "Lesson Study" - collaboration to develop, teach, analyze, and refine American History lessons. A focus on reading, writing, and historical thinking. (4 release days each year, substitute costs paid by project)
  • Attend five day summer institute at the University of California, Berkeley (June, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Read and discuss ?How Students Learn: History in the Classroom? (book provided by project)
(Core participants receive $1,250 yearly stipend - $500/yr. for school year activities; $750/yr. for five-day summer institute.)

2. Join the ?reading American history seminar?

(limited to 20 participants)
  • Read and discuss two historical works, tied to the project?s yearly content themes.
(Participants receive copies of the books and a $200/year stipend.)

3. Be a ?speakers series? participant

(limited to 15 additional participants)
  • Attend 5 after school historical talks
(Participants receive district negotiated hourly staff development attendance stipend.)

Benefits of Participating in the Project

Participants will have the opportunity to

  • Hear from and work with nationally recognized historians and scholars.
  • Work to enhance students' academic literacy skills through a focus on reading, writing, and history.
  • Collaborate with colleagues on the development, refinement, and analysis of classroom lessons.
  • Attend week long summer institutes (June 2009, 2010, 2011) to enhance content knowledge and develop instructional materials for the following school year.
  • Read and discuss historical works with project historians and colleagues.
  • Be enrolled as members in the Organization of American Historians, paid for by the grant, and receive the organization?s ?Magazine of History? (Core program participants only).

Who Should Apply

  • Teachers who studied and were trained to teach American History, and teachers who studied and were trained to teach other subjects, i.e. English.
  • Teachers who want to increase their repertoire of instructional strategies to improve student achievement in history and in the reading and writing of expository texts.
  • New teachers who desire time to collaborate with more experienced colleagues and to accelerate their professional development
  • Experienced teachers who know the value of participating in quality professional development focused on increasing content knowledge and the development of classroom lessons.


  • Oakland Unified School District
  • University of California History-Social Science Project
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • The Peralta Hacienda House

    The Teaching American history Grant program is funded under Title IIC, US Department of Education. To learn more about the Teaching American History Grant Program and other participating schools go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/teachinghistory or click on the link to Abstracts of Funded Projects.

For more information about the second Teaching American History Grant , contact:

Stan Pesick
[email protected]

Visit our website

Grant Abstract
Short overview of the American History Grant.
Evaluation website for TAH Grant "History Grows in Oakland "

Download an application as a pdf document. application.pdf

Download grant information as a pdf document flier.pdf