The three-week institute Thomas Jefferson: Personality, Character and Public Life, offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will take place at Boston University from July 8 to 26, 2013. Speakers include R. B. Bernstein, Peter Hatch, Joanne Freeman, Jan Lewis, and Peter Onuf. The institute will seek to deepen our understanding of one of the most important figures in American history, a figure who is fascinating, influential, inspiring, and embattled.
Focusing on Jefferson’s personality and character and connecting them to his public career will be the theme of the first week, followed by an examination of his views on religion, his role as a family man, and his correspondence with John Adams. In the final week, the Institute turns to slavery, science, and money.
The application and further information (like the stipend for teachers is $2,700; itinerary and speaker bios) is at the institute’s website.
During the three weeks, participants will also ponder some larger questions:
- Is the intimate life knowable?
- Does it connect to the public man or woman?
- Do we each fashion our own version of Jefferson to reflect our values and needs?
- What is Jefferson’s legacy?
Discussion will include pedagogical questions:
- What role should biography and primary sources play in history instruction?
- How does teaching biographies fit with state standards and high stakes testing?
- How do we teach intimate information about famous Americans to young people?
- How can teachers be honest and realistic yet still inspire students and encourage citizenship?
Learn more by visiting thomasjeffersonpersonalitycharacterandpubliclife.org.
HEC-TV LIVE! are live, free interactive programs that connect classrooms with experts from various fields through videoconferencing. The Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV) in St. Louis, Missouri, and is non-profit corporation, and its mission statement is “strengthening and promoting education, arts, and cultural communities.”
Several of our schools have connected to HEC-TV LIVE! videoconfereces in the past. By clicking on the logo to the upper right, you can see archived videoconferences like Freedom Suits, Slavery and American Justice, Inside the Artist’s Studio, and programs on immigration in America.
If you are going to ISTE 2010 (formerly known as NECC) in Denver this summer, you have a chance too see Tim Gore and Helen Headrick present on the success of HEC-TV LIVE!. In the meantime, make sure to visit The Wired Classroom for upcoming program opportunites with HEC-TV LIVE!
The Gateway City: Passage to Freedom — On September 25 students interacted with historians and archivists and discussed the significance of Freedom Suits filed in St. Louis years before the famous Dred Scott case. There was one interactive HEC-TV LIVE! videoconference at 10 o’clock and the second will be at 1 o’clock today. For more information on viewing the program, please click here.
Do you want to learn more about the Freedom Suits? Go to the St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project website. According to the Missouri State Archives, “the case files in the archives consist of 301 legal petitions for freedom by people of color originally filed in St. Louis courts between 1814 and 1860. They make up the largest corpus of freedom suits currently available to researchers in the United States.”
This is a really cool videoconference opportunity from HEC-TV. I’m especially excited about it because before I came to work for CSD, I actually worked at the St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project as an assistant archivist and learned quite a bit about the Freedom Suits. (Small world, right?) Here are the details on this September videoconference:
The videoconference (for grades 4-8th) will focus on the use of primary sources to explore the institution of slavery in 19th century America by looking at the specific example of the “freedom suit” court records of the St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project.
What are the Freedom Suits?
A study of 19th century American history or a study of the Civil War would not be complete without including the famous freedom suit of Dred Scott. While Dred Scott may be the most famous of slaves filing a freedom suit, he certainly was not the only one. These suits, which were legal petitions for freedom by people of color, became a common way for slaves to seek to obtain their freedom in the St. Louis area. The bulk of these suits were filed from the 1820s to 1850s. Slaves who had moved with their owners to live in free states often used this event as a basis to seeking their freedom.
The program learning objectives are:
1. The participant will explore the dynamics of America’s institution of slavery and how it functioned in the 19th century.
2. The participant will interact with primary source documents and interpret how they impact his/her understanding of a particular historic subject.
3. The participant will engage in a discussion about “freedom suits” and their impact on political and social life in America during the early and mid 19th century and share their ideas and questions as they interact with historic experts and primary source artifacts.
…for more details on this videoconference, please visit this link. Disciplines covered during the videoconference include history, social studies, and character education. Available dates: September 25, 10-11 am CDT and 1-2 pm CDT.