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About the Project
(2001 - 2004)

The Teaching American History project is a three year grant awarded to the Oakland Unified School District in August 2001 to support professional development for teachers of American history at the 5th, 8th and 11th grade levels.


The goal of our project is to increase student achievement and engagement in the study of American history. Using California state content standards and Oakland's historical thinking standards, teachers and students critically examine historical primary sources, considering multiple points of view and evaluating different interpretations of historical events. We believe that through studying the struggle for democracy and linking that theme to the best pedagogy and practice of history, we will achieve our goal.

Teacher Learning

  • Increased knowledge of the history of the struggle for democracy in America.
  • Increased ability to teach students to read historical documents and to write historically

Student Learning

  • Improved ability to read and write history.
  • Greater understanding of the struggle for a more democratic society and their own connection to that history.


Thirty 5th, 8th and 11th grade history teachers and school librarians from the Oakland unified School District join the project each academic year for an anticipated total of 90 participants over three years.

Professional Development

  • monthly group meetings with lectures from nationally recognized Bay Area historians, and time to work collectively on pedagogy and lesson planning
  • annual summer institutes to focus on enhancing teachers' content knowledge through lecture and research, and to work on lesson plans for the next school year.

Lesson Study

(see lesson study page)


  • Oakland Unified School District
  • University of California History-Social Science Project
  • University of California, Berkeley library

    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 2001 and Abstracts of Funded Projects 2002.

For more information about De Tocqueville's Ghost, contact:

Shelly Weintraub
[email protected]


Stan Pesick
[email protected]

Visit our website


Grant Abstract
Short overview of the American History Grant.
Why teachers applied for the project 2001-2002
Excerpts from teachers' applications outlining their reasons for wanting to be part of this project.

Why teachers applied for the project 2002-2003
Excerpts from teachers' applications outlining their reasons for wanting to be part of this project.