Constructing, Consuming and Conserving America

Constructing, Consuming and Conserving America is a three-year collaborative project of the Educational Service Center, Cleveland State University, and the Western Reserve Historical Society, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History Grant Program to provide professional development for teachers in grades 4, 8, and 10 from Cuyahoga County school districts during academic years 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11. Goals are to improve content knowledge, historical thinking, and approaches to teaching history. Each year the program focuses on different political, social, and cultural themes by examining national and regional historical events. Twenty-five teams of three teachers from grades 4, 8, and 10 (or grades in your district when history is taught) will commit to the three-year program that will focus on one grade level each academic year. The experience will engage them in active, research-based learning about social and political events from American history. Teachers will use primary sources to develop curriculum, digital resources and exhibits, read and discuss assigned books and articles, attend lectures, workshops, and summer institutes, and benefit from mentoring by five master teachers. These activities aim to increase teacher content knowledge, but also to improve historical thinking and the ability to teach effectively this mode of critical thinking.

To learn more, please contact the Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center or visit the project blog at