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Grant number: AC-50152-12

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AC-50152-12

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg, TX 78539-2909)
Russell Skowronek (Project Director: 07/08/2011 to present)
Sonia Hernandez (Co Project Director: 12/02/2011 to present)

From Porciones to Colonias: Curriculum Innovation in the Rio Grande Valley

A three-year project for twelve middle-school teachers on archival, oral, and archaeological research to develop place-based curricula on the history of the Rio Grande Valley.

"From Porciones to Colonias: Curriculum Innovation in the Rio Grande Valley" is a three-year project at the University of Texas, Pan America (UTPAS) to train twelve middle-school teachers in archival, oral, and archaeological research as they develop place-based curricula on the history of the Rio Grande Valley. Based at University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA), minutes from the U. S.-Mexican border, this program equips seventh- and eighth-grade teachers to incorporate the complex story of the Rio Grande Valley into the region's history curriculum. The story begins with the presence of diverse Indian peoples. It continues with Spanish settlers who received porciones (land grants) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the subsequent influx of Mexican and Anglo inhabitants, the rise of commercial agriculture, and the development of colonias (unincorporated subdivisions) which comprise Hidalgo county today. In the face of present-day border tensions and severe poverty, this project recovers the historic and cultural wealth of this dynamic borderlands region. It also fosters cross-cultural understanding by exposing teachers, and consequently their students, to their diverse cultural heritage. UTPA faculty affiliated with CHAPS (Community, Historical, Archeology Project with Schools) conduct a series of workshops on the region's land, family, architectural, and archaeological history. Based on these workshops and visits to local sites and archives, the teachers produce oral histories and lesson plans. Culminating the program, they present their work to other area teachers at a free public conference. CHAPS faculty produce an edited volume combining scholarly essays and the teacher projects.

Project fields:
History, General

Program:
Humanities Initiatives: HSIs

Division:
Education Programs

Total amounts:
$99,425 (approved)
$88,226 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 12/31/2014