We the Teachers

Following in Ancient Footsteps: The Hopewell in Ohio

Our friends at the Ohio Historical Society are pleased to present an exciting summer program for teachers. The Creative Learning Factory at the Ohio History Connection is inviting applications for a grant-funded Summer Scholars workshop studying the ancient American Hopewell culture in Ohio. The workshop will be run twice, July 12-17 and July 19-24, 2015. From a home base in Columbus, Ohio, we will visit the key sites of the Hopewell culture: Fort Ancient, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, and the Newark Earthworks, which is being considered for nomination as a World Heritage Status site.

Summer Scholars will experience these sites with expert scholars who will bring the sites to life; and learn about archeological methodology and teaching historic sites from practicing archaeologists and site educators. The program is free for accepted applicants and includes a stipend to aid in covering travel and other expenses.

This program, part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Landmarks of American History and Culture teacher workshop series, is open to all teachers in US public, private, parochial, and charter schools, as well as American schools located abroad.

Applications are due March 2, 2015. For more information and application instructions, visit the program website at www.creativelearningfactoryhopewell.org

Announcing Spring Ashbrook Weekend Colloquia at Historic Sites for Teachers

We would like to invite you to apply for Ashbrook Weekend Colloquia on American History and Government at Historic Sites, where you will:

  • Visit historic sites
  • Experience Ashbrook’s unique discussion-based format
  • Engage in thoughtful conversation with other teachers, guided by a historian/political scientist
  • Explore primary source documents
  • Increase your expertise
  • Reignite your passion for your subject area
  • Take ideas back to your classroom that inspire your students
  • Earn up to 8 contact hours, with the option to earn 1 graduate credit
  • Receive a stipend of $425 to defray the cost of travel
  • Be treated to complimentary continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments

These colloquia are being provided by the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University.

Spring 2015 Ashbrook Weekend Colloquia at Historic Sites:

  • George Washington as Founder

April 24-26, 2015

Mt. Vernon, VA

  • First in Peace: George Washington as President of the United States, 1789-97

May 1-3, 2015

Mt. Vernon, VA

  • James Madison: Statesman for Constitutional Government

May 1-3, 2015

Montpelier, VA

  • The Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention

May 8-10, 2015

Philadelphia, PA

  • Thomas Jefferson

May 29-31, 2015

Charlottesville, VA

  • Abraham Lincoln’s Political Choices and the Necessity of Eloquence

May 29-31, 2015

Springfield, IL

Apply Now

We look forward to meeting you at one of our programs.

Please direct any questions to:

Michelle Murray

Programs & Development Coordinator

MMurray@ashbrook.org

(419) 289-5411

Denver Seminar on American History & Government

The Ashbrook Center and Denver Public Schools partnered on February 17th, 2015 to present two one-day seminars to teachers from DPS and surrounding districts. The session for middle school teachers focused on Abraham Lincoln and his plans for Reconstruction, while the high school session focused on the role of religion in three different eras of reform in American history.

Our discussion about Lincoln dwelled in part on the difficulty he faced in trying to win the war while simultaneously planning for what was eventually called Reconstruction – how does one wage a war for victory, without doing so in a manner that alienates the enemy population, preventing amicable relations in the future? Unlike foreign wars, the American Civil War presented political and military leaders with unique challenges, all of which Lincoln needed to consider as he sought a resolution to the conflict.

The role of religion in American history is significant, and arguably no more so than in a number of reform movements throughout our history. Both the abolition movement, and the greater debate over slavery, and the temperance movement were fueled by perspectives themselves rooted in issues of faith. Participants discussed the role of religion in personal and corporate decision-making, and its impact on policy over time.

Take a look at our upcoming programs in various states on our programs calendar, found here on TeachingAmericanHistory.org.

Saturday Webinar: Has the Age of Enlightened Administration Come?

You can listen to the audio right here, and access the archive page – with the video – here.

Today’s webinar consisted of a fascinating discussion of the idea of governmental administration, and the ability and role of government – especially at the federal level – in exercising regulatory power. Panelists discussed the definition of ‘administration’ itself, as well as the difference between political perspectives on problem-solving versus ‘expert’ or ‘technical’ perspectives on the same. Specific examples from the early 20th Century – Roosevelt’s involvement in the coal strike and federal engagement with railroads – were discussed in detail, as well as presidential administrations from the late 19th through the early 21st Centuries.

Aside from the discussion itself, this session included a great deal of description and background information on the functions and organization of the executive bureaucracy, with detailed definitions of the different types of agencies that exist within it, how they function in relation to the president, and how this status impacts their ability to execute policy and regulations.

Saturday Webinar Tomorrow!

You can still register for Ashbrook’s American Controversies webinar for this month by signing up here. This month’s topic is “Has the day of enlightened administration come?” As with all our webinars, this program is free, and if you complete a short survey at the end you will receive a certificate for 2 hours of continuing education time.

Happy Birthday George Washington!

Sunday, February 22nd is our first president’s birthday. In celebration of Washington as a man, as a precedent setter, and as a leader calling Americans to embrace the full promise of our national experiment in self-government we encourage you to re-visit his Letter to the Hebrew Congregation. In this Letter, which celebrates its 225th anniversary this year, Washington notes, “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

washingtons bday

The George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom is offering an Educators Kit to help teachers and administrators guide a classroom reading and discussion of Washington’s Letter. The Institute even provides the Letter’s translation from English into nine (9) languages.

Click here to get your GWIRF Educators Kit.

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 6

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. In this, the final of 6 sessions, Dr. Lloyd ends with a discussion of James Madison, the father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A master reference chart of the origins of the rights found in the Bill of Rights is here, along with a short biography of James Madison, here.

Session 6: James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 5

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 5′s topic is that of the first Congress, and how this body of legislators worked to draft what would become the Bill of Rights. Supplemental references for this session can be found here.

Session 5: The First Congress and the Bill of Rights

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Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 4

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. In Session 4, Dr. Lloyd discusses the political and legal processes by which the Constitution was ratified, and how these impacted the debate over whether the inclusion of a Bill of Rights was necessary or even desirable. For information about the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates surrounding ratification, look here.

Session 4: Constitutional Ratification

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 3

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 3 focuses on the idea that the Constitution itself, as an instrument of both instituting and limited government, is a means of codifying and protecting rights – a Bill of Rights. Reference this page for a list of rights secured by the Constitution.

Session 3: The Constitution is a Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 2

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 2 focuses on the state origins of the Bill of Rights. Given that the 13 colonies pre-dated the Union, and the Constitution, a thoughtful study of those political entities’ provisions related to rights is important, along with the thoughts of the Founders from those states. This page has a chart to use as a reference.

Session 2: State Origins of the Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Lecture Series: Session 1

The Ashbrook Center’s Professor Gordon Lloyd gave a six-part lecture series to a group of teachers at the Reagan Library, in which he discussed several key perspectives on the development, writing, ratification, and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Episodes run from 50-60 minutes each. Session 1 concerns the English roots of the ideas found within the Bill of Rights, reaching back to Magna Carta and the intervening centuries. Use the chart found at this link as a reference during the lecture, or pass it along to students as a means by which to examine the roots of America’s views on fundamental rights. Session 1: The English Roots of the Bill of Rights

Ft. Collins Seminar on American History & Government

Ridgeview Classical Schools hosted an Ashbrook Seminar in American History and Government on January 31st for a group of teachers from around and near Fort Collins. Professor Peter Myers facilitated a day-long discussion about Civil Rights, in which teachers were able to discuss the evolution of the ideas, laws, and movement related to this important thread in American history and society.

Of particular interest to participants were the ideas of legal rights, political rights, and social rights, and how the three contribute to, and yet differ from one another. Additionally, teachers discussed the legal ambiguity that existed after the end of the Civil War, and how southern states sought, through legislation like the Black Codes, to define freedmen and give them what was considered to be acceptable legal status – all before the 14th Amendment was ratified, making them citizens.

Teachers also had an opportunity to discuss in detail the writings of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights thinker whose ideas formed part of the foundation of Martin Luther King, Jr’s methods of nonviolent protest.

Ft. Collins Seminar

If you’d like to read some of the documents used for this seminar, please refer to the links below.

Black Codes of Mississippi (1865)

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Bayard Rustin, selections:

Martin Luther King, Jr., selections available here:

  •      “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (April 16, 1963)
  •      “I Have a Dream” (August 28, 1963)
  •      “The Black Power Defined” (June 11, 1967)

 

Tampa Seminar on American History & Government

On Saturday, January 31st, 2015 teachers from multiple school districts convened at Hillsborough Community College to discuss the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Debates with the esteemed Dr. Eric Sands of Berry College providing his scholarly knowledge and guidance.

Tampa Seminar on American History & Gov't

The Anti-Federalist writings are oft forgotten in history classes mostly due to the fact that “they lost” as Dr. Sands stated, however “The Anti-Federalist writings and warnings, especially of Brutus, seem more relevant today than ever.” The essays of Centinel, Brutus and Federal Farmer expressed concerns that a powerful national government would weaken states rights, representatives in Congress would be too far removed from their constituents to effectively govern on their behalf, and the judicial branch would become too activist. Richard R expressed his thought that the writings were almost prophetic in nature, “almost Nostradamus-like”.

Participants enjoyed spirited discussions and lively debates on a number of issues: the extent of the necessary and proper clause,the proper role of government and the limiting of executive power to name a few.

If you would like to ponder these profound essays yourself, please view selected reading from this seminar below to experience some of the debates:

For additional resources, visit our online exhibit with timelines, biographies and extensive writings on the Federalist - Anti-Federalist Debates created by Dr. Gordon Lloyd.

 

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