Kelman Wins Bancroft Prize!

April 8, 2014

We are thrilled to share the news that UC Davis History Project Faculty Advisor, Ari Kelman, has won the Bancroft Prize! Columbia University awards this prize to two authors each year. When we traveled with Sacramento City and San Juan Unified teachers to Colorado in 2011 for Field Study, we were fortunate to hear directly from Kelman who accompanied us. During our visit to the historic Stanley Hotel, Kelman shared his research and previewed his now award-winning book, A Misplaced Massacre, which tackles the politics of history and memory surrounding the 1864 massacre in Sand Creek, Colorado. Later, while visiting the state capital we were able to view the monument installed on the Capital grounds with greater understanding informed by Kelman’s research. Join us in sending kudos to Kelman for this achievement!

Empire - Online World History Seminars

September 26, 2013

The History Project's World History online seminars continue. This year's theme is Empire, and our topics include:

November 21 - Spain in the New World (10th grade)
December 5 - The Fall of Tenochtitlan (7th grade)
January 16 - British in India (10th grade)
February 6 - Portuguese in Malaysia (7th grade)

From 4:00 to 6:30 pm on each of these nights, join a community of teachers from across the state for

live, online professional development in the comfort of your home or classroom

Each evening's session will include a contextual talk by a professor of history and a model lesson, designed with the Common Core in mind and presented by History Project Teacher Leader.

Registration is $30 per session or $100 for all four.

Register here
To sign up for all four, visit - here

November - here
December - here
January - here
February - here

Sustained HP Professional Development = RESULTS!

February 7, 2013

Students of teachers involved in sustained work with the History Project demonstrate increased proficiency on the California Standards Test in both the history/social science and the English/language arts sub-tests. In fact, the Center for Research and Evaluation found that the gains of teachers in the HP cohort increased with each year of work. (Click here for a visual showing 3 years of data.) Our emphasis on writing, reading, and critical thinking—skills now associated with the Common Core State Standards but long emphasized by the HP—may explain the statically significant gains made by students of HP teachers and the increasing difference between these students and their peers.

This corroborates the findings of SRI International expressed in this video and those of Gargani & Co., the external evaluator on two previous grants. Gargani’s analysis indicated that HP’s professional development program had a statistically significant impact on students. In fact, Gargani tied student achievement to the number of hours teachers spent in HP programs. It seems that higher the ‘dose’ of HP involvement, the greater gains in student achievement!

Online World History Seminars

September 27, 2012

2012-2013 World History Seminars

live, online professional development in the comfort of your home or classroom

Each evening's session will include a contextual talk by a professor of history and a model lesson presented by HP teacher leader Jessica Williams.

4pm to 6:30pm on Thursday evenings

November 15th - 19th Century Imperialism
December 13th - Beginnings of Cold War Tension
January 17th - Cold War Hot Spots (Congo)
February 21st - The Mexican Revolution
March 14th - Ancient Philosophies' Influence on the Development of Democracy

Tuition is $25 per session or $100 for all five. Special conditions* apply to teachers in the Northern California counties outside the History Project’s regular service area (Sacramento, Yolo, and Solano Counties).

Contact Phillip Barron at with questions or visit to register.

*Free tuition + teachers who complete all five seminars are eligible for a modest stipend.

History and Memory of the Holocaust program accepting applications

September 11, 2012

For the 2012-2013 academic year, the History and Memory of the Holocaust program returns. With generous support from The Claims Conference and the Pell Family Foundation, The History Project and UC Davis Jewish Studies are excited to offer high school teachers a year-long professional development workshop on teaching the Holocaust.

See for more information and applications.

Applications will be accepted through October 1. Space is limited.

Contact Phillip Barron ( with any questions.

HP Fellow Receives Geography Teaching Award

May 2, 2012

The History Project is proud to announce that long-time Project Fellow Barbara Boyd was recently honored as the recipient of the California Geographical Society’s K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award at their annual spring conference. The purpose of this award, established in 1974, is to “honor those teachers who are largely responsible for generating the love for geography” among K-12 students.John Aubert , Past President of the California Geographical Society and Chair of American River College’s Earth Sciences Department, spearheaded Barbara’s nomination.

Barbara teaches at Rosemont high School in the Sacramento City Unified School District. She has been involved as a learner and leader with the History Project for many years. During this time, she was a vital contributor in the HP’s geography programs; she helped develop and deliver geography training for the HP’s geography professional development series from 2004-2006. Her enthusiasm and commitment to geography have also led her to pursue opportunities for professional development abroad in Asia and Europe through the Korea Society and Atlantik-Brucke.

Barbara is well-respected by her colleagues and administrators for her collaborative and generous spirit, classroom innovation, and support of life-long learning for herself and her students. Rosemont Social-Science Department Chair Julieann Skvarla, declared "Barbara has single-handedly put geography on the curricular map of the Sacramento City Unified School District." Katie Durham, former Rosemont High School teacher noted that her love of learning and treatment of her classroom as a geography “laboratory” where key concepts in geography are combined with essential lifelong skills such as teamwork and literacy. As a result, “her 9th-grade students benefit tremendously…because she teaches them about their community and its place in the globe, and she lays a foundation for her students' success in high school and beyond.” Former teaching partner, Kenneth Durham explained how much he appreciated her as a collaborator during his first year teaching when he “absorbed everything Barbara could teach me about the teaching of geography,” noting “even though she is a veteran teacher, she never stops learning and is always rearranging her teaching based on new knowledge or self-reflection.” Rosemont Principal, Leise Martinez, appreciates the way Barbara uses technology to engage the students and help them see its relevance to their classes noting, “Whenever I want to demonstrate that a classroom does not have to be students sitting quietly in rows, I use Barbara's classroom. Kids are up moving around researching and reporting.”

Finally, in the words of Professor Aubert, Barbara is an “energetic and committed geography educator” working “tirelessly in service of geography education.” Please join our K-16 History Social Science community in celebrating Barbara’s contributions to the field and accomplishment as honoree of this well-deserved award.

Into the Marchand Archive

January 31, 2012

The History Project is thrilled to announce a new way for our community to discover and interact with the documentary source problems and images contained in our Marchand Archive. Our blog, Into the Marchand Archive, regularly features selected resources from the Archive along with commentary from members of our K-16 community about why those resources are interesting and useful for teaching and learning. Each post features a historian, teacher, or student of history, and when relevant, is paired with a list of related resources available on-line or in our Marchand Room here on campus. We invite you to participate in the blog by sharing your own ideas on how these images support teaching and learning in the “comments” section of the relevant post, or by submitting an idea via email for a post about one of the resources in the archive.

The launch of our blog coincides with our 2012 series, Saturdays at the Marchand Room, hosted by our Marchand librarian, Kate Bowen , on January 21, February 25, and April 28. Join us to peruse our lesson plan collection, check out books, or get help searching the on-line archive. Technology break-out sessions will also be offered. These events are offered free of charge. Please see our professional development calendar for more information.

World History Seminars Online!

September 21, 2011

The History Project at UC Davis is offering a series of professional development seminars in World History during the 2011-12 school year. Teachers will be able to log in from the comfort of their homes or classrooms, using only a modern web browser and an Internet-connected computer.

Following the 10th grade standards, the North State World History Seminars will cover the following topics:

UC Davis History Project World History seminars

  • Dec. 8 - "Global Consequences of World War I"

  • Jan. 26 - "The Russian Revolution"

  • Feb. 16 - "Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany"

  • Mar. 15 - "The Vietnam War as a Cold War Event"

  • Apr. 19 - "Comparing Democratic Revolutions"

The online seminars are dynamic and interactive.

Each session is led by a history professor from the California State University at Chico and a History Project teacher leader.

Participants will enhance their teaching with lessons refined by the History Project and interact with the seminar instructors and other participants through online meeting software and a new series of forums designed to facilitate lesson plan sharing.

Participants earn modest stipends for completing all seminars and online module.

To learn more and to register for the North State World History Seminars, please contact Phillip Barron at the UC Davis History Project.

Registration link:
Phone: 530-752-0725

History Project Teacher Wins Prestigious Award!

June 16, 2011

The History Project at UC Davis is proud to announce that Jed Larsen has been awarded Gilder Lehrman’s 2011 California History Teacher of the year.
The History Project (HP) nominated Jed in February, he was named as the California winner in May, and he is now in the running to be named the National History Teacher of the Year. Gilder Lehrman will announce this award in fall. The National winner receives a $10,000 prize.

Jed’s skill and commitment as a teacher, combined with his endearing manner and zeal for the discipline of history make him a vital team member in HP’s service to elementary history educators.

Jed became an HP “fellow” in 2005 standing out as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic participant during a two-week Teaching American History Institute on the UC Davis campus. Since then, he has contributed to the HP community’s K-16 efforts to improve student engagement and achievement by producing and presenting lessons and strategies that model challenging and creative ways to teach history.

Recently, Jed helped HP develop, evaluate, and refine our approach to Lesson Study, a “teaching improvement process” traditionally used by math teachers, which we have re-designed for the history classroom. He now facilitates groups of his colleagues as they learn about history instruction and assessment through the Lesson Study process.

When we visit Jed’s classroom and see him in action, it is clear that what drives him is his passion for history and his belief that ALL students have the capacity to learn and therefore deserve high-quality, literacy-focused, history learning opportunities. See Jed in action below

Jed’s charge to provide all students with quality history instruction that simultaneously bolsters literacy is laudable, serving as a model for elementary history instruction, and this is why the History Project nominated him to be the Gilder Lehrman history teacher of the year. Please join us as we thank him for his service to the teaching community and wish him the best of luck as the national award process continues.

Attention World History Teachers!

UC Davis is pleased to continue service to world history teachers through two new programs. Our World History Seminar Series, “Asia at the Crossroads,” kicks off on February 2, building on the work from our Scholar Seminar Series last year. At each session, scholars and teacher leaders will guide participants to examine significant periods when events in one area of Asia had far reaching ties to other areas in the world. Additionally, in partnership with the Jewish Studies Program at UC Davis, UCD has been awarded funding for our “History and Memory of the Holocaust” five-day summer institute from the CLAIMS CONFERENCE and a matching donor gift. Scholars from history, political science and sociology will provide the academic content through lecture and seminar discussions of readings while teacher leaders will model lessons and coach teachers to design brief lessons. Throughout the 2011-2012 school year we will be assessing the effectiveness of the program through online discussions, reviews of final lesson plans with student work, and the results of pre- & post-surveys.

Lesson Study in the Spotlight

Lesson Study, an approach to professional development that originated in Japan, calls on teachers to cooperatively plan a lesson, teach, observe, reflect, revise, and reteach. Perhaps more importantly than these observable features, the process requires teachers to re-evaluate some of their assumptions about teaching and learning, and reconsider fundamental choices in their teaching practice. This frequently leads to improved instruction.

In implementing Lesson Study in three grants over the last year, Davis Project leaders have noted increases in teachers’ ability to observe students, to use assessment to inform instruction, and to see the relationship between their long term goals for student learning and the instructional choices in one day’s lesson. Lesson Study focuses on studying one instructional problem at a time. Teachers come to consensus about what structure, strategy, or approach holds the greatest promise for wearing away at an existing barrier; then they test out their hypotheses in their classroom laboratories. Teachers’ sense of efficacy and motivation to keep working at their craft grows as the process reminds participants that teaching can be studied, analyzed, and improved.

With a second chance to implement Lesson Study in three grants and three additional grants just starting the process, we’ve taken some clues from this reflective process ourselves. We’ve devised ways to be more clear and specific as we scaffold the process for our participants. We’re extremely enthusiastic about both what our teachers are learning about their practice and what we’re learning about supporting professional learning.

We’re Smarter Together: Better Investigations Result from Collaboration

In the history classroom, inquiry starts with historically relevant questions. Teachers frame classroom investigations with questions in order to set a purpose for analyzing a particular set of sources. Students glean evidence from the documents and use it to construct credible claims about the past that respond to the investigative question their teacher has proposed.

To construct these investigations, teachers frequently enter the research and planning process with a question derived from the content standards. This initial question is a work in progress, the starting place that informs one’s source selections. A look at the historiography reveals what has interested historians about a particular problem in history; a teacher will often adapt his or her question to better reflect current scholarship. Turning to primary source documents, a question may morph further as it’s fine-tuned to better fit available sources. This recursive process results in standards-based questions that are grounded in current scholarship.

A critical final step involves taking one’s question and source set out for a test drive. At the recent Teaching with Primary Sources workshop in Sacramento, groups of like-grade teachers examined source sets and refined proposed guiding questions based on their discussion of the following:
• How well do the questions fit the sources and the sources fit the questions?
• What evidence do these sources provide?
• Will students need additional sources? Are there redundant sources that should be omitted?

As you can imagine, these prompts inspired rich conversations about teaching and history. What’s more, they reinforced the value of collaboration. Just like we tell our students: We’re smarter together!

Local Teachers to Embark on Field Study Trip

April 21, 2010

To apply for available 2010-11 slots, SCUSD teachers contact Letty Kraus and San Juan teachers contact Laurel Lyda.

This June, fifty elementary and middle school teachers from Sacramento City and the San Juan Unified School Districts will travel to Philadelphia to culminate their year-long study of Colonial America funded by federal Teaching American History grants. Teachers began the year by delving into Alan Taylor’s American Colonies: The Settling of North America. Professor Taylor’s text helped teachers consider the origins of liberty and slavery in the colonies and gain a better understanding of how the colonies became the United States of America. In Philadelphia, teachers will deepen their understanding of the controversies, debates and compromises that led to the Constitution. We will work with scholars and public historians as they visit landmarks including the Constitution Center and Independence Hall. Teachers will also learn more about early urbanization, diversity and the free African American population in the “City of Brotherly Love” as they explore some of the well-known museums in the city including the African American Museum of Philadelphia and the Atwater Kent Museum

In 2010-2011, teachers in both Districts will focus on early nineteenth century history including U.S. expansion and the Mexican American war. The following summer, teachers will travel with UC Davis historian Ari Kelman to New Orleans, to explore the concept of the “Crossroads of Empire” and then to Denver to consider the role of the West in the Civil War.

New Approaches in World History

In November, the UC Davis History Project launched a series of five seminars to explore new approaches in world history. When conceiving of this series, we took Ross Dunn’s comments to heart. In his article “The Two World Histories,” published in the September 2008 issue of Social Education, Dunn called for one arena of “world historians, multiculturalists, global studies advocates, and conservative educators who simply believe that strong history education is vital in our capitalist world [and] would join together, not to promote global government or undermine the nation-state, but to study the history of humankind writ large, recognizing that the Earth is a ‘place’ whose inhabitants have a shared history.” Based on this and other recent scholarship in the development of the field of world history, we sought a program that would allow us to develop world history teacher leadership and bring teachers and scholars together to discuss this new scholarship and how it relates (or does not) to the History-Social Science Standards. We wanted to foster collegial conversations between middle school teachers, high school teachers, and university professors. Furthermore, we desired professional development that would enrich the teachers’ content knowledge so that they could glimpse the world history that is just beyond the realms of the standards they teach. In other words, we hoped to provide relevant scholarship that would enable teachers to reorient their course based on the new scholarship and resituate their curriculum using a wider lens.

The result is a true collaboration between History Project staff, historians from both UC Davis and Sacramento State, and teachers from around the region. We developed plans for five 2½ hour seminars, each with an academic lecture, discussions centered on supplemental readings, and dialogue about the use of selected sources in the classroom.
The first seminar provided historiographical and methodological background for the fledgling field of world history. Historian Michael Vann from Sac State, who serves as the academic facilitator for the entire series, provided a framework for our continued study by tracing the roots of the new world history and discussing its antithesis, the traditional Western Civilization course. Participants read excerpts from Robert Marks Origins of the Modern World and Jerry Bentley’s “Shapes of World History in Twentieth Century Scholarship” in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History. A lively discussion ensued in which participants discussed Marks’ polycentric lens of world history and debated how they could tackle the world history standards with this lens.

Feedback for this first seminar was overwhelmingly positive. One participant wrote, “Yes [the presentation by the university faculty was helpful], very thought-provoking to the re-direction of how we teach world history. Every world history teacher would benefit on the methodological/historiographical foundations and discussions of our curriculum and teaching practices.” When asked about how they could transfer this new information to the classroom, participants responded earnestly. “I think that it gives me additional perspectives to inject into the curriculum to get students to question their preconceived notions and beliefs about history,” wrote one teacher. Another reported, “[I need to be] more sensitive to the need to make world history more global, less Eurocentric.” Although we invited teachers to choose the sessions they wanted to attend, most indicated after the first seminar that they would attend all of them, even those that address content outside of their teaching assignment.

The second seminar was a similar success. Jeffrey Dym, another Sac State historian, gave a fascinating talk entitled “Asia's Trade Surplus, 1400-1800: Trade in pre-Modern Times & Lessons for Today.” Tenth-grade teachers were just as enthralled as the middle school teachers because Dym provided the context for teaching the Industrial Revolution. The post-lecture discussion consisted of an exercise in which Vann walked participants through Janet Abu-Lughod’s map of the eight trading circuits of the thirteenth century world system. The exercise reinforced to participants the importance of highlighting patterns of interaction between, in this case, “circuits.” Too often, teachers admitted, they teach regional history instead of world history. Participant feedback illustrated that teachers are already rethinking their approach. “[The information] provides more depth to a non-Eurocentric perspective that needs to be presented in the classroom. This approach to history, new perhaps, needs to continue,” said one teacher. Another wrote that the seminar offered her an astute viewpoint: “The Europeans were fortunate, it was luck. It’s important to me to continue to show the chain of events, not domination or superiority.”

In 2010, we will have three additional seminars all led by UC Davis historians. Sudipta Sen will lead a discussion on new approaches to the study of empire and imperialism in January. His expertise in British imperialism, combined with Vann’s vast knowledge of French imperialism, should make for a lively seminar. In February, David Biale will discuss the Jewish Diaspora in world history terms and compare it to other global demographic shifts. Finally, in March, Diana Davis will wrap up the series by introducing participants to the complex relationship between world history and environmental history.

In sum, this program challenges teachers to adapt their curriculum to represent the new directions in the expanding field of world history. Our participants have embraced the new scholarship and are quickly incorporating it into their curriculum. Though the process for adopting the revised Curriculum Frameworks—which offer a global lens with which to flesh out the Content Standards—is currently suspended due to budget constraints, teachers have already begun to move in that direction with support of this series. Our hope is that these teacher leaders will work with us to effect change at their sites and in their districts so that we can all find a spot in Dunn’s unified arena of world history.

Lessons from the Road: Field Study with Sacramento-Area Teachers

September 3, 2009

This June, a small group of history teachers from the Folsom-Cordova and Center Unified School Districts completed a 7-day field trip to the East Coast—the culminating professional development experience supported by this Teaching American History grant. As the primary partner on the grant, the History Project at UC Davis organized and facilitated the trip.

Designing and delivering a useful and intellectually satisfying experience proved to be major challenge. History Project programs foster high expectations and we knew that a pre-packaged tour would not fit the bill. As we began planning this trip, we wondered: “How do we convert a travel opportunity into an adult learning experience and meet the high expectations of our teachers for productive scholarly interactions?" We negotiated for worry-free transportation, comfortable accommodations, and meals with one vendor, but knew that the major lifting on the itinerary had to come in-house.

Our answer was to provide a full spectrum of on-site history experiences including the requisite tours of homes, battlefields, and museums, as well as visits to archives and scholar centers. Since our teachers appreciate working closely with scholars, we used our network to locate East Coast scholars who were interested in working with our experienced teachers on location. History Project Director Pam Tindall developed an itinerary and located scholars through our UC Davis scholar network and like-minded folks involved with TAH projects in the East.

Our group arrived in Richmond, Virginia, filled with anticipation and armed with notebooks filled with itineraries, maps, and primary source selections. We began with an unplanned bus ride down Monument Avenue, a great photo opportunity, en route to the Virginia Historical Society (VHS). Having the museum to ourselves was a treat and Bill Obrachta's work set the bar high for the remainder of the trip. Obrochta, the Director of Education at VHS, pulled some documents out of the VHS archives to share with us. We deciphered and discussed a series of fascinating diary entries recorded by a Virginia man heading to California during the gold rush. We unanimously agreed that they held great promise for use with students. We appreciated Mr. Obrochta’s personal attention and efforts to make a Virginia-California connection and place this experience within a larger historical context. He even distributed facsimiles of the documents in their original size so we could examine every aspect including handwriting, postmarks and other illuminating details. What a great start!

The following day, our interaction with Will Harris, founding Director and Principal Scholar at the Center for the Constitution provided context and much more at the beginning of our back-to-back visits to Montpelier and Monticello. We met Harris at James Madison’s home Montpelier, where we engaged in a lecture and discussion entitled “Constitutional Liberty…WHAT is it?” Harris provided a framework for thinking about Madison and Jefferson, the concepts of “freedom” and “liberty” and the dimensions of federalist and anti-federalists views that show up throughout American history. Many of us gained a new appreciation for Madison, which added much-needed depth to the story recited by the docent when we later toured his home.

Though we left Harris at Montpelier where he was running a four-day institute with teachers from Placer County, his ideas continued to percolate as we embarked on our tour of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Here we could not help but compare and contrast the living spaces of Madison and Jefferson. We were fascinated with how these homes reflected Madison and Jefferson’s thoughts and ideas about the democratic republic they had helped to form. Physically occupying these two spaces while grappling with the ideas presented by Harris was a memorable and engaging experience.

After Monticello, it was on to the University of Virginia (UVA). Our TAH-network friend Andy Mink, Director of Outreach and Education at the Virginia Center for Digital History, introduced us to Professor Kent Germany who shared his work with the Miller Center of Public Affairs on the Presidential Recordings Program. Through the recordings and transcripts, we explored Lyndon Johnson’s role in the aftermath of the Freedom Summer Murders. Germany suggested we frame our investigation by asking “What can a president DO?” as we considered the limits of federal power with this case study. We were surprised to discover what sound recordings can reveal.

On to Gettysburg—where we had a private tour with Mr. John Fuss, Licensed Battlefield Guide. I was not sure what to expect here, but Mr. Fuss did not disappoint. Our group found his commentary on the monuments including when, where, why they were placed and by whom to be excellent fuel for conversations on history and memory.

On our way to Harpers Ferry and our last scholar appointment, we stopped briefly at Antietam where we stood in Sunken Lane, read a diary entry from Lt. Frederick Hitchcock, and contemplated his account of “Baptism of Fire at Bloody Lane.” At both of these battlefield stops, less was more as the powerful of influence of “being there” worked its magic.

Since we only had a few hours at Harpers Ferry, we truly benefitted from having a scholar to focus our visit. Harpers Ferry is a many-layered place that offers entry points into America’s stories of industrialism, early transportation, sectional division, African Americans education, the Niagara Movement and more. Dr. Carol Wilson, Chair of the Washington College History Department provided a narrative, leading us on a walking tour with stops at key places to review the “obvious” story of this place—John Brown’s raid—and to go in to depth on some of the lesser known aspects. We appreciated her respect for us as adult learners who had some knowledge of history and could make sense of her discussion of historical interpretation. Of course, the stunning views and tangible sense of how geography helped to shape history enhanced this experience as well.

We spent the last leg of our trip with a couple of days in Washington, DC. With so much to see and do, we encouraged teachers to prioritize according to their teaching assignment and leave the rest for another trip. Our teachers focused with determination on this task. Some managed to secure personal attention at the Supreme Court—apparently, a certain clerk there “loves teachers” and was very helpful providing resources. Other highlights included the exhibits at the Library of Congress and the Newseum. Teachers spent productive time where they felt it ultimately would provide the most benefit to their students. Each bus ride back to the hotel was filled with conversations about what they had seen, collected, and thought about that day. There is no stopping a bus filled with history teachers in Washington DC from having a great time! Still, we missed the context, questions, and framing devices offered by the scholars at the start of our trip. This critical element of all of our programming was sadly missing from the final days of our trip. Next time, we won't leave home without one.

Though we returned exhausted, I was very satisfied to have had this last experience with this particular group of teachers, some of whom had participated in our TAH cohort for all three years of the grant. They were thoughtful and readily engaged in all aspects of the experience. We now count "organizing field study" as another skill set in our professional development repertoire. Having recently been awarded two new TAH grants featuring this very kind of focused travel, the History Project at UC Davis looks forward to further adventures in history.

Sacramento Area TAH Showcase

Since its inception in 2001, Teaching American History (TAH) grants have afforded teachers throughout the nation opportunities to engage in quality professional development with partners in public history and higher education. The annual TAH project directors’ conference gives grant leaders from across the nation a chance to share with colleagues. Sacramento-area directors recently concluded that providing a similar opportunity for teachers in the region would be a great benefit for all.

With that in mind, The History Project at UC Davis is collaborating to plan a TAH Showcase in the late afternoon/early evening of May 7, 2009. The event, to be held at the Sutter Square Galleria in downtown Sacramento, will feature teacher-led workshops highlighting their projects, explaining their particular approach, and sharing essential understandings that have contributed to improved student achievement. Mark your calendars and look for more information soon. If you would like to be on our mailing list for the Showcase and other events in the greater Sacramento area, contact us at

Getting Smart about Writing Grant Proposals

If you’re looking for a quick and dirty way to win millions in grant funding, you’re reading the wrong article. Proposal writing takes substantial time and effort. Funding, even for the best laid plans, does not always materialize as a result. Though fully aware of this dilemma, many in our world continue to dream up programs, craft plans, and develop proposals. What’s wrong with us? Not a thing; we know that effective planning provides the backbone for the most effective proposals and that the process of crafting such plans opens the door for strengthening existing organizations and building valuable partnerships—with or without additional funding.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Solano's Teachers Gear Up!

On August 5, 8th-grade teachers from across Solano County will convene at Solano Community College to consider "Founding Documents that Shaped the Nation." This event kicks off our latest Teaching American History grant, won in partnership with Solano County Office of Education and Solano Community College . In addition to examining the role of the founding documents with SCC historians, History Project leaders will train participants in historical thinking and academic literacy strategies, expanding their teaching repetoire with valuable tools for engaging students. Participants can expect to walk away with new knowledge, resources, strategies, model lessons, books, and County colleagues to hit the ground running for the new school year. For more information, see the calendar section of our website or email Stacey Greer-Crabtree.

UCD History Project Tackles the 8th-grade CST Conundrum

A team of HP teacher-leaders, concerned about student performance on the California Standards Test given at the end of 8th grade that covers the previous three years of study, have developed a 3-day symposium in consultation with historians. Entitled Building Thematic Bridges Across the History Curriculum, the program promises to expand teachers' understanding of the content assigned to each grade level, six through eight, so they can capitalize on opportunities to preview and review content with students. Participants will learn how continuity and change can be observed across three themes: commerce, religion, and government. Two historians will participate in the symposium, each giving a formal talk and helping us make connections within the wide-ranging content. In addition, six practicing teachers will demonstrate model lessons and quick review activities like "Six Degrees of Historical Separation." If you teach 6th-, 7th-, or 8th-grade history, this symposium is for you! See the July calendar for further details.

Join Us to Celebrate!

What better way to celebrate May Day than to toast the good work of fellow history teachers?

Join us on May 1 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in Sac State Library's Special Collections Room. Eat, drink, and enjoy the company of fellow history educators--elementary, secondary, and university.

If you have earned the distinction of History Project Fellow by participating in sustained curriculum development work totaling 60 hours or more, we'll have a snazzy lapel pin for you!

Please email or call 530.752.4383 to let us know if you plan to attend.

The Best of Yolo County: A History-Social Science Symposium

April 12, 2008

Fifteen Yolo County and Dixon teachers recently demonstrated the outstanding lessons they developed as participants in the History Project’s Teaching American History grant programs. The grant, awarded to Yolo County Office of Education and the History Project at UC Davis in 2004, funded workshops and institutes focused on historical content and literacy-building strategies.

The event, held April 11-12, highlighted lessons teachers developed to apply their training. Each lesson had been classroom tested and teachers spoke from experience and shared student work in each workshop. Teachers teaching teachers at its finest!
UC Davis historians Ari Kelman and Beverly Bossler also participated at the Symposium as keynote speakers.

Charles Postel's Book is a Winner!

March 14, 2008

CSUS professor and perennial History Project favorite Charles Postel's book, The Populist Vision, has won not one but two prestigious awards. The Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians recognizes an author's first book on some significant phase of American history.

Just as the confetti started to settle in our celebration of that award, we learned that Charles's work had also been awarded the Bancroft Prize. This prize, awarded each year by the trustees of Columbia University, is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field of American history writing.

Congratulations, Charles!