Turning Points in American History, A Teaching American History Grant

About The Grant

Beginning in 2009, Florida Virtual School teachers explore watershed events in American history. The Turning Points grant is a professional development program designed to improve teacher’s content knowledge and provide them with innovative teaching resources.

Turning points in American history include pivotal events such as political and cultural revolutions, social and religious changes, new technologies, and the exploration of unknown places. This is the first Teaching American History Grant awarded to a virtual school by the U.S. Department of Education. Turning Points provides annual history colloquia, on-site field studies, book discussions, and online history professional development for a cohort of 30 virtual teachers.

The teacher cohort utilizes technology to create content-rich American history lessons aligned with Florida’s standards. After the first year, teachers selected as “Cohort Teacher Leaders” support ongoing professional development and dissemination of Turning Points resources.

Laura Wakefield Project Director

Teacher headshot

Laura Wakefield brings 20 years of teaching, professional development, curriculum and grant writing experience to this project. A National Board Certified Teacher, she earned a Master of Arts in History as a James Madison Fellow. Wakefield is a past NCSS Middle School Teacher of the Year and now serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Council for History Education

General Email address for future questions:


Cohort Teacher Leaders


Cohort Teachers