About the Becoming America Project

The Becoming America project will offer high-quality professional development in selected
American history content and analysis regarding immigration, using the NAEP historical periods
3-8, to elementary school teachers and American history teachers in middle and high school, in 5
Massachusetts’ school districts (i.e., Braintree, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, and Medford) and 1
charter school (i.e., Mystic Valley Regional Charter School), the majority of which have large
multicultural populations, making the immigration focus particularly relevant. Suffolk University
will assume responsibility for yearly, week long summer institutes, and 8 three-hour fall seminars
per year, to 25 teachers per year from these school partners.

Supporting this university-led effort will be 21 national historic sites in Boston and New
York City, and renown Boston historical societies, libraries, archives, and museums that will
offer a hands-on component to the classroom professional development by allowing teachers to
explore the primary sources found within these historic repositories. Three full-time and one
part-time experienced mentor teacher leaders (i.e., Teacher Learning Center Directors) will assist
participating teachers in merging historical content and analysis with appropriate pedagogy,
resulting in each teacher developing and implementing a project-based lesson centering on
selected primary sources at partner sites and aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
for American history. Individual lessons will be appropriately grouped into project-based
units and distributed widely to schools through a supporting electronic infrastructure.

Over the 5-year span of the Becoming America project, 125 teachers from 5 districts and 1
charter school will each receive 81 hours of intensive professional development in American
history content and skills. The Becoming America project will directly impact over 9,000
students in the classrooms of participating teachers.