The American Institute for History Education (AIHE) provides highly successful professional development for teachers in districts nationwide through Teaching American History (TAH) grants, according to an independent evaluator. Grant Evaluation, Inc., of Little Meadows, PA, has reported exceptional gains in teachers’ history knowledge because of teachers’ participation in AIHE professional development sessions and field-study trips.
Grant Evaluation reported teachers involved in AIHE professional development scored 29% higher than control groups on United States history content exams. The TAH groups initially began 5% lower than the control group. The teachers’ historical content knowledge increased by 36% on nationally validated test items.
- In urban districts, teachers scored 35% higher on U.S. history content items than a
control group of urban teachers. They increased their scores by 33% on nationally
validated test items after AIHE professional development.
- Teachers in suburban districts also improved after AIHE professional development.
On average, those teachers scored 27% higher on United States content items than
a control group of suburban teachers. They scored 35% higher on nationally
validated test items after AIHE professional development sessions.
- Teachers in rural districts showed similar results. Following AIHE professional
development, teachers scored 29% higher on U.S. history content than a control
group of similar teachers, and they demonstrated a 56% increase in content
knowledge on nationally validated test items after AIHE sessions.
- 80% of the teachers used resources or ideas derived from AIHE TAH sessions in
their classes on a monthly or more frequent basis.
- 90% of the teachers reported an increase in their abilities to read and understand
- 98% would recommend their AIHE TAH experiences to their colleagues.
- 96% consider their AIHE experience the best Professional Development they ever
Grant Evaluation’s data was based upon survey results of approximately 850 teachers
across 10 states and 22 TAH projects conducted by AIHE during 2008.
More impressive, with student achievement, among high school students in rural-suburban school districts, students of teachers in their second year of the AIHE TAH program scored 30 percent higher on a test of nationally validated history content questions than students in a matched comparison district in a quasi-experimental design study. The AIHE project students also had scores rise 23 percent in their districts from the first to second year of the program. Remarkably, AIHE TAH elementary scores rose 38 percent from the previous year. The student data is based on 576 students and 13,936 data responses. Moreover, urban students of teachers in the AIHE TAH programs scored 44 percent higher on a test of nationally validated history content questions than students in match comparison districts in a quasi-experimental design. Student data is based on 742 students and 18,929 data responses.
Students of teachers in AIHE professional development programs have been extensively tested using nationally validated test items. These students consistently scored higher than comparison students of teachers either not in the programs or with minimal exposure to the programs. While there are teacher and student matching and other statistical limitations to these preliminary studies, AIHE differences have been consistently positive across grade levels and among urban, rural and suburban youth, both for general and Advanced Placement students.