STAUNTON, VIRGINIA--The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that it will host a one-week institute for 25 Virginia history teachers from Sunday, June 14, until Friday, June 19. The summer seminar is the first of three annual week-long sessions in a professional development curriculum entitled “Critical Connections in American History.” Dr. James Axtell, Emeritus Kenan Professor of Humanities at the College of William and Mary, and Dr. Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia, will speak at the Institute. Teachers from Waynesboro, Staunton, Winchester, and Fredericksburg City schools and Augusta, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Amherst County schools are participating. Attached is a list of the participating teachers.
On Sunday afternoon, the teachers will arrive, tour the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, and have a reception and dinner in the gardens. On Monday through Thursday mornings, Dr. Axtell and Dr. Onuf will give morning presentations and lead discussions. Each afternoon, the teachers will hear about and discuss teaching and research techniques, including primary sources, lesson plans, use of technology, and meeting Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL’s). On Friday, the participants will give presentations on projects they prepared together throughout the week on topics related to the teaching of history.
The program is designed to improve the teachers’ knowledge and appreciation of traditional American history by focusing on critical connections in America’s past. During this first year, the teachers are examining four international moments that shaped the early history of the development of the United States: the contact between native peoples and Europeans in North America, the creation of the Atlantic system of trade and the development of colonies in British North America, the origins of the American Revolution, and the early development of the United States in a global context.
The workshop is part of a three-year program of history education seminars for high school teachers from Waynesboro Public Schools and seven other Virginia school districts. The program is made possible by a Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Waynesboro Public Schools received the grant in partnership with the Presidential Library, Amherst County Schools, Fredericksburg City Schools and Winchester Public Schools.
The teachers participated in one-day preparatory sessions at the Presidential Library last fall and this spring. In August, the teachers will continue the program through historic site visits to Jamestown and Williamsburg. They will return to the Presidential Library for one-day sessions this fall and next spring, and participate in summer institutes in 2010 and 2011.
Those interested in more information about this program should contact Dr. Joel Hodson, Director of Education at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, at (540) 885-0897, extension 103, or firstname.lastname@example.org.