This past weekend, the Ashbrook Center was pleased to host 16 outstanding social studies teachers for a weekend colloquium at James Madison’s Montpelier.
Participants read from primary source documents including Madison’s pre-Constitutional Convention working paper, ”Vices of the Political System of the U.S.,” several of his contributions to the Federalist series, his “Report on the Virginia Resolutions,” his introduction of amendments to the Constitution in the First Congress, and some of his personal correspondence. (Explore more of Madison’s writings in our online document library here.) With guidance from the accomplished historian of the Early Republican era, Dr. Todd Estes (Oakland University), we discussed key themes in Madison’s thought and career, including his critique of the government under the Articles of Confederation, his blueprint for an extended representative republic designed to break the hold of faction, his shifting political alliances (if not necessarily his shifting principles), and his argument in favor of the power of states to “interpose” their constitutional interpretations while not endorsing nullification of acts of the federal government.
During one of our evening receptions, we were fortunate enough to have been joined by the Madisons themselves, who were hosting visitors for a holiday tour of the mansion. Mr. Madison kindly agreed to pose for photographs with some of our participants. Thanks to all of the teachers who joined us, and thanks to our co-sponsor for this program, Liberty Fund.
The Bill of Rights Institute will present a pair of programs for teachers in July 2014. The Founders Fellowship program features two programs:
- Civil Liberty, Commerce, and the Constitution, to be held July 14 to 18 in Washington, DC
- Liberty and Security, to be held July 21 to 24 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Open to all secondary social studies teachers, the programs are offered at no cost to participants (program costs, lodging, and most meals are included, as is a $400 travel stipend). Learn more about the program or apply today. The application deadline is March 31, 2014.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has released its schedule of weeklong seminars for the summer of 2014. The seminars are open to K-12 teachers from Gilder Lehrman affiliate schoosl, school librarians, museum educators, and National Park Service interpreters.
For teachers at schools not currently affiliated with the Institute, you will have the opportunity to apply for affiliation with your application for the seminars. Affiliation provides a number of benefits for your school’s teachers and students, including professional development opportunities, curricular resources, and opportunities to recognize outstanding history students.
Learn more or apply at www.gilderlehrman.org.
Last weekend, the Ashbrook Center hosted 18 teachers in Hyde Park, NY for a discussion about the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and visits to the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Park Site and the FDR Presidential Library and Museum
Drawing on primary source texts – mostly taken from Prof. Gordon Lloyd’s The Two Faces of Liberalism: How the Hoover-Roosevelt Debate Shapes the 21st Century - participants explored FDR’s response to the Great Depression as a candidate, and as President. Our participants discussed how FDR, in his address accepting the presidential nomination in 1932, promised to “break foolish traditions” and how, in his Inaugural Address he asked Congress for “broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.”
Our discussion also included a number of writings by Herbert Hoover. Many of our participants were surprised to learn that Hoover “stuck around” throughout FDR’s presidency, both to criticize New Deal policies, and to articulate an alternative political vision. We discussed his defense of his early response to the Depression in his 1932 acceptance of the Republican nomination, where he argued his administration “met the situation with proposals to private business and the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counter attack ever evolved in the history of the Republic.” We also discussed his argument, in “The Crisis to Free Men,” that “Either we shall have a society based upon ordered liberty and the initiative of the individual, or we shall have a planned society that means dictation, no matter what you call it or who does it.”
The Ashbrook Center thanks its co-sponsor, Liberty Fund, for funding this program, and Prof. Gordon Lloyd (Pepperdine University) for serving as Discussion Leader. Thanks also to all of the teachers who joined us in a lively and important conversation!
Our friends at the Bill of Rights Institute have developed a new resource to help schools explore civic virtue in a functioning democratic society. Heroes & Villains: The Quest for Civic Virtue contains a series of 10 lessons designed for use in the classroom. Two free workshops are offered to aid schools in implementing these lessons. One workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 17 in Topeka, Kansas, and the other will be held Friday, November 15 in Houston, Texas. Each workshop is designed for school administrators, curriculum coordinators, and classroom teachers.
To learn more about these free opportunities, visit the Bill of Rights Institute website or contact Laura Vlk, the institute’s manager of programs and events.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, seminal events in America’s effort to deal with and overcome the legacy of slavery. Key to understanding that legacy is the place of slavery at the 1787 Constitutional Convention and thence in the US Constitution.
On September 17th, the American Enterprise Institute will present the second annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture. Michael Zuckert, Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor and chair of the department of political science at the University of Notre Dame will critically examines the leading “pro-” and “anti-slavery” interpretations of the Constitutional Convention and offer an alternative analysis tied to a more accurate and less anachronistic reading of the principles and politics of the founding era.
This Constitution Day will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, Eastern time. The lecture may be attended in person at the AEI offices in Washington, DC, or you may watch event online live.
May 1, 2013
Teachers will have two opportunities to explore the work of writer Ernest Hemingway in the upcoming weeks. Professor Dan Monroe, who is the John C. Griswold Distinguished Professor of History at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, sees Hemingway not only as the most important American literary voice of the twentieth century but also as a window into an era of war and social upheaval. Monroe will offer both an Ashbrook Saturday Webinar on selected short stories of Hemingway and a weeklong summer seminar covering these and longer works.
The webinar, the last of this school year’s series of free online continuing education opportunities, will be offered Saturday, May 18. Webinars are not only excellent opportunities to explore topics of historical interest; they afford a taste of the text-driven, interactive experience of our Master of Arts in American History and Government program, taught partly online and partly in residence on the Ashland University campus. During the fourth on-campus session this summer, Monroe will offer a study of Hemingway as one of the newest of our program’s Great Texts courses. We asked Professor Monroe to chat with us about his interest in this iconic American author.
What inspires you to offer a course on Hemingway in the MAHG program? Continue reading
The Center for the Constitution has a wonderful series of seminars available for those teachers who just cannot get enough professional development. As described by their website, the Center for the Constitution challenges teachers thus: “Immerse yourself into the theory and meaning of the American Constitution” by applying ”to one of our seminars at the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, Virginia.”
Teachers who apply and are accepted get to spend a weekend studying the Founding at the home of President James Madison. The classroom environment is unmatched, the instructors are superb, and the cost is low, low, low. The fee is $1250, but private donors pay for all expenses save a $50 registration fee charged to accepted applicants.
This series of professional development opportunities are called the Montpelier Weekend Seminars. In order to view the names of the different seminars, their respective dates, and to start the application process, visit the Center for the Constitution’s Classroom Seminars page.
The Montpelier Classroom Seminars are a unique professional development opportunity for social studies teachers and other civic educators. Participants in a Montpelier Weekend Seminar will live and study on the grounds of James Madison's Montpelier, one of the central sites of the American constitutional founding.
Looking for a graduate degree program which fits the busy schedule of a teacher? Need coursework to renew a teaching license? Ashland University’s Master of Arts program in American History and Government has recently added live online courses during the fall and spring semesters.
Offered on an once per week schedule for eight weeks, MAHG Live Online makes it possible to work toward an MA degree in American History and Government or to earn graduate credit in your content field while meeting your personal and professional responsibilities. With a combination of online and intensive summer study, you may earn your degree in as few as 15 months.
View the schedule online or learn more today.
The Bill of Rights Institute offers Constitutional Workshops for teachers. These workshops take place all across the United States and include a copy of their teacher-written curriculum, a certificate for 6 hours of professional development and bi-monthly emailed lesson plans. There are dates available this fall. Register today for a location close to you.
Any study of or research project into WWII should include a stop at the Winston Churchill Centre and Museum. This incredible online resource for all things Churchill offers access to audio files of Churchill’s speeches, reviews of books on WWII and Churchill, updates on traveling exhibits, and materials for teachers. Remember to sign up for the Chartwell Bulletin and recieve monthly e-mail updates on Centre news.
An intensive study of the Constitutional Convention, the struggle over ratification of the Constitution, and the creation of the Bill of Rights, this course includes a close examination of The Federalist and the anti-federalist papers. It will be offered twice this summer, both times in Philadelphia. Taught by Ashland University Professor Christopher Burkett and Guest Lecturer Gordon Lloyd (Pepperdine University), a leading scholar of the Founding era. Lloyd, who designed our interactive web exhibits on the Constitutional Convention and the, Ratification of the Constitution offers an enthusiast’s encyclopedic knowledge of Founding era.
Students new to the degree program may take their first course at the Ashland campus tuition-free. There is no obligation or risk. Learn More about the Program and view the schedule online.