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Past Projects

OCM BOCES- Teaching American History First Person America (2010 - 2014)

In 2010, the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Education Services (OCM BOCES) (www.ocmboces.org) and SUNY Cortland initiated the First Person America (FPA) project, funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Teaching American History (TAH) Grant Program. The project focused on professional development (PD) activities for K-12 teachers of America history. Three cohorts over three years participated in FPA project activities, which included a series of monthly historian-led information sessions, a summer institute, and a history-focused field experience to various locations in the eastern U.S.

OCM BOCES partnered with Hezel Associates to evaluate outcomes on teacher participants and their students during each year of project implementation. To accomplish this, Hezel Associates designed a mixed-methods study focusing on pre-determined research questions regarding: (1) teacher content knowledge; (2) teacher self-efficacy with technology use; (3) teachers’ sense of community between BOCES-wide American history teachers; and (4) student content knowledge. A pre-/post-design was implemented to reveal any changes that occurred throughout the PD experience. Instruments, in the form of online questionnaires, were designed to measure participant outcomes. Participants developed and administered their own student assessments and submitted those data to Hezel Associates. Quantitative analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, such as frequencies and means, and inferential testing, such as paired-sample t-tests. Qualitative data were organized and themes were identified.

Hezel Associates provided program staff with annual reports, each of which included a description of methods used, findings from the program year, and recommendations for program improvement. In addition, evaluators provided assistance with completion of the Annual Performance Reporting required by ED.