We the Teachers

Register Now for this Saturday’s “American Controversies” Webinar

Join teachers from across the country for our next web discussion this Saturday, April 11th at 11:00 AM EST. This month our topic of conversation is, Are Congress and the Courts Too Strong or Too Weak? Prof. Christopher Burkett will be moderating the discussion between Prof. Joseph Postell of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Prof. Kevin Portteus of Hillsdale College.

Register Now

Gainesville Seminar in American History & Government

On Saturday, March 14th, the Ashbrook Center held another One Day Seminar in American History and Government in Gainesville, Florida with Dr. John Moser on the topic of the Origins of the Cold War.

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Participants discussed the complex relations between the Soviet Union and the United States that spanned a period of six decades. As one participant stated, “These two countries virtually held the world hostage as they jockeyed for position and tried to one up each other in the nuclear arms race.”

As Dr. Moser mentioned, “The Cold War extends far beyond the basic tenets of Capitalism versus Communism.” Lively discussion permeated the day and continued into the lunch hour as well. The first session “Wartime Alliance” focused on several wartime documents such as Roosevelt’s Message to Congress on the Atlantic Charter and Protocol of the Proceedings of the Crimea (Yalta) Conference. Session two explored “The Origins of Containment”, George Kennan writings on Soviet policy and the US response to the Soviet provocations. The third session focused on “the Practice of Containment” and post World War II policies. Participants discussed the effectiveness of Truman’s administrative policies, why did the US join NATO, the Marshall Plan and the division of Germany. The effects of the Cold War still resonate today and debate still continues over Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb.

Happy Birthday, James Madison

James Madison, our fourth president, architect of the Constitution, and author of the Bill of Rights, was born today in 1751. In that spirit, we highlight two discussions of Madison and his spirit of civic compromise.

Professor Gordon Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Ashbrook Center, and Dr. Jason C. Ross, Ashbrook’s Director of Programs, discuss Madison’s belief in the importance of conversation and civil discourse in the Wisconsin State-Journal.

Separately in the Columbus Dispatch, Dr. Ross further explores Madison’s philosophy as a means of engaging civic education in the classroom.

 

Saturday Webinar: Do American Principles Require American Interventionism?

Listen to the audio here.

14 March 2015′s American Controversies webinar focused on foreign policy, and how American principles impact the decision to get involved overseas, where, and how. Scholars David Tucker and Stephen Knott discussed examples from Washington’s administration to the Obama presidency,  unpacking events and decisions including the War of 1812, Indian Removal, the annexation of Florida, the Spanish-American War, and more recent interventions in the Balkans, Africa, and elsewhere. 80 teachers from across the country attended and posed excellent questions, digging at the issue of where principles and pragmatism meet – and either clash or complement one another.

You can access a video copy of this webinar, along with the core documents used by the scholars, on this TeachingAmericanHistory.org archive page.

Join us for next month’s American Controversies webinar, the guiding question behind which will be “Are Congress or the Courts Too Strong or Too Weak?

Ashbrook Weekend Colloquium in Colonial Williamsburg, VA

The Ashbrook Center hosted a group of teachers at Colonial Williamsburg this past weekend, to discuss the topic of slavery as it is related to the Constitution. Teachers from across the country – as far away as North Dakota – engaged in a discussion about how the treatment of slavery evolved during the Convention of 1787, how the 3/5 clause was added and where the number really came from, and how the Founders wrestled with slavery as an institution with political and economic aspects and impacts.

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Professor Gordon Lloyd led our discussions, helping participants dig deeply into a diverse collection of documents, including notes from individual states’ ratifying conventions in 1787 and 1788, as well as from the Philadelphia Williamsburg 2 2015.03Convention itself. Along with 9 hours of outstanding discussion, participants were given a guided tour of Colonial Williamsburg, led by a resident scholar in the history of slavery and African-Americans at the historic settlement, and viewed a dramatic presentation of the lives of three African-American women who lived in Williamsburg in the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries.

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.”

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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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We’ve recently set up a our RSS and iTunes feeds so that you can subscribe to our audio and video, just like you can other podcasts. You can directly access our RSS feed page here, where you’ll see several options for subscribing in the “Subscribe Now” box. iTunes works particularly well, since it will keep your feed updated and will enable you to bring our audio with you in your iPod.

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

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