A Classroom with an Ocean View

By Kathleen Barker, Education Department

Summer is an exciting season for the MHS education department. Over the next three months, hundreds of teachers from nearly 40 states and the United Kingdom will visit the Society to take part in workshops on topics including the American Revolution, anti-slavery and abolition efforts, 19th-century immigration, and American imperialism. Many of these programs also include excursions to local landmarks like Faneuil Hall in the heart of Boston or the Old North Bridge in Concord. One particular workshop, however, will take participants to a stunning seaside setting: the new Thomas Jefferson Memorial Center at Coolidge Point in Manchester, Massachusetts.

In this workshop, participants will explore the challenges faced by the new nation in the years after the American Revolution. They will examine five sets of documents selected from the Society’s collections that shed light on key issues, including the rights and responsibilities of a new government, the needs of a diverse citizenry, slavery, women’s roles, and America’s relationship with the world. For example, using sources such as Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence and the correspondence generated by St. George Tucker’s Queries on Slavery in Massachusetts, teachers can analyze the ways in which America’s founding mothers and fathers attempted to negotiate the complex issue of slavery and its place in the new republic.

A $50 registration fee covers three lunches, one dinner, and all snacks. All materials, instruction, and admissions are included. Participants will receive 30 Professional Development Points, as well as the opportunity to earn graduate credit at Framingham State University. For more information, please contact the education department at education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0557.