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Speaker Series - Dr. Michael Klarman
Tuesday, 09 October 2007
"The Role of the Supreme Court in American History"

Image On Tuesday, October 9, Dr. Michael Klarman of the University of Virginia School of Law analyzed and interpreted the Brown case and its impact on the Civil Rights Movement. In the first half, Dr. Klarman annotated Justice Douglas's conference notes on Brown, told stories about the justices, detailed how justices decide cases, explained why Brown was a hard case for many of the justices, and made conclusions on why they were nonetheless eventually able to reach a unanimous outcome.

In the second half, he discussed the various ways in which Brown mattered and did not matter by linking up Brown with the rise of southern massive resistance, violence, and ultimately the enactment of civil rights legislation in the mid 1960s.

Dr. Klarman included lessons on how and why Court decisions matter, how we tend perhaps to overemphasize the importance of the Court's contributions to racial change in this country, and important reminders about how violence was necessary to prompt most whites to care about the civil rights of southern blacks.

Speaker Series - Dr. Lauranett Lee
Tuesday, 04 September 2007
"Preserving the Legacy of the Jefferson School" - Dr. Lauranett Lee

ImageThe first session of our Speaker Series was titled "Preserving the Legacy of the Jefferson School" and featured Dr. Lauranett Lee of the Virginia Historical Society. Dr. Lee explored ways to use oral history and historic preservation efforts to teach history. She is currently completing a commissioned project for the city of Hopewell in which she documents African American history. She discussed the mechanics of constructing a community history project and it applicability for teachers and students. The second half of the session focused on using the cultural landscape to teach history, including a walking tour of the historic Jefferson School. Teachers received a copy the recently published third edition of "A Guidebook to Virginia’s Historical Markers" in order to provide a foundation for examining local and regional historic sites throughout the commonwealth.

Historical GIS
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Historical GIS

ImageThe Teaching Fellows gathered at UVa's Alderman Library on Thursday, August 23rd to kick off the 2007 - 2008 program. The evening began with a presentation from Gary Treadway, UVa's Library for History. Mr. Treadway's presentation provided an overview of how scholars and students alike conduct research in the 21st century. Research today is a far cry from the dewey decimal system and microfiche. Primary and secondary sources are literally a click away.

Dr. James Wilson, Assistant Professor of Geography at James Madison University concluded the gathering with a presentation on Historical GIS. After opening with an overview of geospatial technologies and his own training, Dr. Wilson shared his own change over time GIS study that dealt with historic deforestation in Virginia.
Teaching Change Over Time Using GIS
Friday, 29 June 2007
Teaching Change Over Time Using GIS

Image "Symbology, attribute table, query, shapefile, and metadata!" These are just a few of the Geogaphical Information System phrases heard echoing through Charlottesville High School's media center during June 25-29. What began as a foreign language and skill, is now easier to understand and use by 22 teachers that participated in the “Applications of GIS for the Teaching of American History” institute. Led by Kevin Mickey and Dr. David Bodenhamer of the Polis Center, Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis, teachers were taught how to: integrate the concept of "space" with American History; find and use on-line historic mapping resources; use GIS to investigate and answer historical questions; and design and create customized classroom activities using GIS. Click on the link below to see pictures or hear the podcast of Dr. Bodenhamer's lecture on "space and time."

Photos | Podcast (coming soon)

Dr. Julie Solometo
Friday, 04 May 2007
“Native American Archeology”

Image In the last session of the TAH Speaker Series for the 2006-07 school year, Dr. Julie Solometo of James Madison University demonstrated how archaeology can help us to understand Native American life both prior to and during the early Jamestown colony. In this hands-on workshop, we considered how archaeology can counter the biases of the historic record, examined the history of the Native American occupation of Virginia from the late Pleistocene until the arrival of the English at Jamestown, and looked at archaeological evidence that demonstrates the impact of English colonization on Algonquian communities.

Teaching American History Project Directors' Seminar
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Teaching American History Project Directors' Seminar

ImageThe Virginia Experiment Teaching Fellows Program was featured as a keynote panel presentation at the Teaching American History Project Directors' Seminar on April 12, 2007 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Sponsored by the National Council of History Education, this day-long symposium featured key projects that exemplified successful and innovative approaches to the grant design. Andy Mink, Chris Bunin, and Scott Nesbit presented a session titled "Evaluation: How are Teachers Changed by TAH?" to a national audience of project directors, curriculum experts, and educators. Other speakers during the seminar included Dr. Edward Ayers of the University of Virginia and William Kelso of Historic Jamestowne.

Dr. Tom Ewing
Thursday, 01 March 2007
“Causation and Chronology at the End of the Cold War, 1979-1991”

Image Who remembers these events in the first person?

Afghanistan, 1979 American arms buildup, 1980-1984
Gorbachev and Reagan, 1985-1988
The "Fall of the Wall" in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, 1989
The "End" of the Cold War, December 1991

Dr. Tom Ewing of Virginia Tech explored questions of causation and chronology in the last decade of the Cold War, from the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 through the breakup of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. By focusing on the ways that events shape historical outcomes (causation) and the importance of sequence for understanding (chronology), this presentation suggested strategies for effective history teaching and learning. The main subjects covered important elements of the Virginia Standards of Learning Curriculum, which emphasizes students¹ knowledge of the end of communism and the role of President Ronald Reagan. By combining content knowledge with teaching strategies, this presentation suggested approaches appropriate for other fields of historical inquiry and comprehension.

Poster Session
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Teaching Fellow Poster Session to be held Thursday

One of the components of the "Virginia Experiment" grant design is the Teaching Fellows Program and the creation and sharing of instructional tools. On behalf of this year's teaching fellows, we are pleased to announce that this week's speaker series event will begin with a poster presentation. The session will begin promptly at 6:00 PM, and Dr. Tom Ewing will speak immediately afterwards ("Chronology and Causation of the End of the Cold War, 1979-1991").
Dr. Scot French
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
“Nat Turner’s Rebellion”

Image In August 1831 a ragged army of enslaved men and boys, led by a charismatic preacher named Nat Turner, went on a 24-hour rampage in rural Southampton County, Virginia, that left 55 white people dead and the slaveholding South convulsed with panic. A massive force of state militia, federal troops, and armed volunteers converged on the region and crushed the rebellion. White vigilantes, defying the orders of civil and military authorities, killed dozens of slaves and drove hundreds of free persons of color into exile. Turner eluded capture for more than two months, finally surrendering to a local farmer who found him hiding in a cave. A local lawyer, Thomas R. Gray, interviewed Turner in his jail cell, recorded his Confessions, and published them as a pamphlet shortly after Turner was executed.

Dr. Scot French of the University of Virginia explored strategies for connecting Nat Turner’s Rebellion to larger themes in American history and culture. Among other topics addressed in his workshop were the questions: “Where does “Nat Turner’s Rebellion” fit within the larger history of slavery and emancipation in Virginia? the United States? the Atlantic World? How does this shift in historical perspective, from local to global, affect our interpretation?”

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