As summer is quickly winding to a close, many parents are turning to the task of preparing their children for the return to school. But who prepares their teachers? Despite state-mandated requirements for teachers to obtain advanced degrees, the masters’ degree programs geared toward teachers all emphasize the mechanics of teaching, rather than the substance of the subjects to be taught. All but one, that is. The Master of American History and Government stands unique in offering a substantive program in American history designed to better equip history teachers to know and teach their subject. Using the best professorsgreat teachers and scholars from universities across the countryand primary sources which bring the subject to life, the program offers a series of intense, one-week seminars offered during the summer to accommodate teachers’ schedules.
As I am writing this, we are wrapping up our last week of the summer classes, during which teachers from all fifty states (plus the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories!) have studied topics such as The American Revolution, The American Founding, Sectionalism and the Civil War, and The American Presidency. The response from the teachers is humbling. Just last week, I was standing outside the Center when one of the teachers came up to me on her way out to her car. She thanked me for what had been a great week of classes, and commented on how much new material she had learned that she would bring back to her classroom. She said that she was sorry to have to leave. It was at this point that I noticed that she was cryingtears literally streaming down her faceas she explained how much she looked forward to coming back and learning more. As I said, humbling.
The Master in American History and Government is an important project that we have undertaken, but like all important projects, it requires generous contributors to continue. So, with the coming rush of back-to-school, please take a few minutes, and give a tax-deductible donation to help us teach more teachers.