Publication Date

September 1, 2004

Perspectives Section


On July 2, 2004, the Department of Education (ED) announced its fiscal 2004 Teaching American History (TAH) grants (details are at The goal of the congressionally mandated TAH grant program, which supports professional development projects at local education agencies (LEAs), is to raise student achievement in traditional American history by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for American history through intensive professional development workshops.

The 122 LEAs that were awarded grants were located in more than 40 states and Puerto Rico. A quick perusal of the awardee list suggests that strong partnerships are continuing to develop between school districts and local historical sites as well as regional and nationally based "partner" organizations. The development of historical thinking skills is increasingly being made a part of the programmatic objectives. Also, it appears that the term "traditional" American history is generally being viewed within a broad context of American history and consequently is not being used to limit the scope of subject matter for professional development. For example, there are programs focusing on religious tensions in colonial times, African and Native peoples heritage, immigration and migration, and the internment of Japanese Americans.

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