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April 1, 2011

CCSD Teachers Receive Professional Development Training Through Teaching American History Grant

U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn with CCSD teachersOn Saturday, April 2, Teaching American History grant teachers from Charleston County School District (CCSD) attended the National Council for History Education conference on the Causes and Consequences of Civil Wars. U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn delivered the keynote address in which he emphasized the importance of teaching critical thinking skills in social studies. He also shared stories of his own teaching career as a social studies teacher at C. A. Brown High School in Charleston.  He revealed how his passion for social studies and history led to his activism in the Civil Rights Movement and to his long-standing career as a statesman in Washington, D.C.

This event is just one opportunity provided by the federal Teaching American History grant. CCSD recently received this $1.6 million grant to provide targeted professional development for social studies teachers. The program is designed to improve teachers’ knowledge and skills in delivering high-quality social studies instruction to students in U.S. History.  By participating in the program, two cohorts of teachers- a secondary group and an elementary group- attend lectures by national and local history experts.  They receive monthly resources and strategies aligned to what they are currently teaching and attend social studies conferences or workshops. They will also participate in an intense two-week summer institute that will include travel to Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Philadelphia.

Partners in the CCSD Teaching American History grant are the College of Charleston, The Post and Courier, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute, one of the most renowned history organizations in the country.

The grant is one example of how CCSD is working to elevate student achievement overall and to increase the graduation rate through improvements in teacher quality and effectiveness.  

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