As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am in Boca Raton for a few days conducting a Gilder-Lehrman workshop on the early American republic for American history teachers from Palm Beach County Schools. The administrators asked me to spend two mornings delivering four lectures on the period. Today, I lectured on recent interpretations of the Federalists and the place of religion in the Early Republic.
I am also privileged to be working with Gloria Sesso, a veteran teacher and the co-president of the Long Island Council for the Social Studies. Gloria is an old friend from graduate school. We went out to dinner tonight and shared stories about our grad school advisor, complained about the way that history education is being overtaken by “social studies,” and talked about our shared interest in early American history and religion.
The twenty-three teachers attending the workshop are a spirited and inquisitive bunch–a great group. We have a nice mix of 8th grade, 11th grade, and AP American history teachers. The morning included some deep discussions about how to teach historical thinking, whether or not America was founded as a Christian nation, and the way Federalists thought about women, the west, slavery, and conservatism. Gloria brings it all home in the afternoon sessions by trying to connect this content with pedagogical concerns.
Current Temperature in Grantham, PA: 52 degrees
Current Temperature in Boca Raton, FL: 77 degrees