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Teaching Teachers about WWI

Locations, dates announced for new Gilder Lehrman Education Program

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

tri logoLast month, we announced our participation in “Teaching Literacy Through History”, a great new professional education program presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading American history organization dedicated to K-12 education.

The American Legion and the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission have partnered with Gilder Lehman for a special “Teaching Literacy Through History” program focused on World War I.

The World War I program has been slated to take place in six cities across the country by the end of the current academic year.

This week, those six locations/date are officially announced. They are:

1. Louisville, KY: Saturday, October 21
Site: The McConnell Center, University of Louisville
Scholar: Michael S. Neiberg, U.S. Army War College
Master Teacher: Nathan McAlister
30 registered / 40 seats for the program (sending out a final reminder email to our contacts next week)
Click here for registration information for the Louisville session.

2. Anchorage, AK: Saturday, November 4
Site: Anchorage School District Education Center
Scholar: Kimberly Jensen, Western Oregon University
Master Teacher: Lois MacMillan
Invitation to teachers to go out next week

3. Albuquerque, NM: Monday, December 4
Site: Albuquerque Public Schools City Center
Scholar: Jennifer Keene, Chapman University
Master Teacher: Angelia Moore
40 registered / 40 seats (plus 26 on waitlist -- all APS teachers)

4. San Diego, CA: January/February 2018 (date TBD)
Site, Scholar, Master Teacher TBD

5. Detroit, MI: Saturday, March 17, 2018
Site: Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, Wayne, MI
Scholar: Christopher Capozzola, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Master Teacher TBD

6. Providence, RI: Spring 2018 (date TBD)
Site: likely the Rhode Island Historical Society
Scholar, Master Teacher TBD

The intent of the program is to help educators better teach the Great War to their students, especially by using primary sources – direct or firsthand pieces or accounts, such as letters, diaries, printed books, newspapers, photographs and more – to bring the era to life, rather than relying strictly on secondary sources like textbooks or other articles written after the fact.

Literacy skills and tools for using these primary sources will be provided; the educators will leave with lesson plans and other resources, and the hope is that this new focus will benefit student understanding and performance.

The program is funded by a $50,000 grant from the American Legion and sponsored by the World War I Centennial Commission, which will provide curriculum content, communication resources and more.

Attending educators will hear lectures and discussion meant to deepen their own knowledge of the war, by leading historians like Michael Neiberg, chair of war studies and professor of history at the U.S. Army War College, and Christopher Capozzola, associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Teaching Literacy Through History” is meant to come at World War I from a variety of angles – its causes, conduct, human aspects, results, and ultimate consequences and lessons. Jack Monahan, the American Legion’s representative on the U. S. World War I Centennial Commission, lauded the program as an example of both organizations’ “mutual efforts to increase public awareness of World War I.”

Find out more about Gilder Lehrman at

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