The Causes of Conflict: Digging Deep to Understand American History Summer Institute 2010 was fantastic. Held August 2-6 at ESD112 in Vancouver, Washington, 75 teachers came together to answer key questions: “Why declare independence?” and “How can I enrich the teaching and learning of this historical era and of historical thinking more generally?” Guided in our exploration of the colonial era by historians Paul Finkelman and Spencer Crew and economist Jenny Wahl and our consideration of the classroom by Rich Christen and Peter Thacker, teachers dove into the material enthusiastically. It’s always a hard sell to spend a week of summer vacation in the classroom, but teachers felt like it was a good trade. Just a few comments from the evaluations:
Fantastic! Better than I anticipated!
This week challenged me to think about myself as a historian. It’s not enough to just love history & old buildings & stuff. Just “seeing” the Declaration of Independence in the Archives is such a surface thing. To take that document and compare it to the Constitution was powerful enough to change my teaching forever.
Extremely valuable – I learned content and great process. What fun it is being an engaged student!
Documents help us understand and then answer our questions. I will be more effective, organized, focused!
The speakers were so knowledgeable. My overall knowledge of events in American history has grown – plus I feel so enthusiastic about this period of history now. I want my students to have the same enthusiasm.
The best institute on history I’ve been to at the ESD. Connects superbly with my state expectations. Thanks for creating a strong elementary based institute!
Over the next several blog entries, I’ll post archives from the program: Audio files, documents, and slides. To see them all, just search “Summer Institute 2010 Archives Post” using the blog search tool. Don’t be afraid to add comments to continue the conversation!