The One Nation, Many Americans Project (ONMAP) is a three-year initiative designed to strengthen the content knowledge and instructional strategies of United States History teachers at the school district’s two high schools, Oakcrest and Absegami, as well as history teachers from its six K-8 sending districts.
This project offers a distinctive approach to the study of American history, highlighting the experiences of the nation’s native and immigrant communities over the last four centuries. Year 1 focuses on colonial settlement, indentured servitude, and Native American relations. Year 2 explores increasing reliance on slave labor, westward expansion, and migrant labor to technologically advancing industries. Year 3 concentrates on transportation construction, urban growth, and American expansionism, concluding with a discussion of diversity today. This approach melds national and local history by exploring how regions, cities, and neighborhoods negotiated key concepts and institutions, and especially prepares teachers to investigate how ideas and events shaped the development of South New Jersey. It also encourages teachers and their students to explore American history from the perspective of daily lives without compromising coverage of traditional turning points in the national narrative by recognizing and incorporating one of the nation’s most defining features—our diverse heritage as a “nation of immigrants.”
ONMAP has been developed for the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District and its sending districts in partnership with the Historical Studies Program and the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center (SRI/ETTC) of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the African American Heritage Museum of SJ, the Atlantic City Free Public Library, and the Education Division of the New York Times.
The project promotes teacher training in traditional American history through three years of cumulative research and program development. Programs each year include one two-week summer institute, incorporating colloquia, field trips, visiting scholars, and lesson plan development, and three days of professional development activities during the school year. In addition, technology training by SRI/ETTC master teachers and a website of historical materials, scholarly essays, lessons plans, and teacher response boards created during the program’s three-year cycle foster ongoing networks of connections between ONMAP participants and expands program outcomes to teachers beyond the Greater Egg Harbor Regional District.