Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

IHS and Gilder Lehrman Institute Celebrate 5th Year Hosting K-12 Teachers for Foreign Policy Seminar

Tue, June 7, 2016
IHS and Gilder Lehrman Institute Celebrate 5th Year Hosting K-12 Teachers for Foreign Policy Seminar
Gilder Lehrman Institute, June 19-25

Story by Samantha R. Rubino, M.A., Graduate Research Assistant and GLI Coordinator, Univ. of Texas at Austin

This month, the University of Texas at Austin will host 32 secondary school teachers from around the United States for a weeklong seminar on foreign policy. The program assists experienced teachers in providing their students with a deep, focused, and applicable understanding of America’s recent past. The ultimate goal of these seminars is to create a network of the nation’s top teachers, coupled with university historians, to bring cutting-edge technology and historical research into the classroom. The University has had the wonderful opportunity to host the nationally recognized program for the fifth straight year. 

The Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History (GLI) is a New York based non-profit organization, which strives to improve history education. The institute holds a number of seminars across the country, which focus on specific themes in the history of the United States. Dr. Lesley Hermann, director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, stated that these seminars provide a space where teachers and professors, who have a passion for history, come together to strengthen their craft.

Professor Jeremi Suri, holder of the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs and a professor of history and public affairs, and GLI Master Teacher and Senior Education Fellow Steven Schwartz provide such a space. Throughout the week, Dr. Suri will lead the cohort through a series of lectures on the history of United States foreign policy since 1898. These lectures will be accompanied by pedagogy sessions run by Mr. Schwartz. 

In conjunction with the lecture and pedagogy sessions, the teachers have the amazing opportunity to conduct their own original archival research in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. While there, the teachers will learn about the inner workings of the archives—not normally seen by those outside of the staff. Brenda Gunn, Associate Director for Research and Collections at the Briscoe Center, described her enthusiasm to “get primary source documents into the teachers’ hands which allow for a deeper understanding and connection with history that you cannot get from reading a monograph.”

History professors Madeline Y. Hsu and Mark Atwood Lawrence will present special lectures during the week. Dr. Hsu, Associate Professor of History, will speak on Immigration and International Relations, while Dr. Lawrence, Associate Professor of History, will present on "The Long Origins of the Vietnam War."

By the end of the week, the relationships fostered by the intellectual exchange between the teachers and members of the UT community will create a network of scholars that will endure for years to come. The seminar is indebted to the help of major historical institutions around Austin: UT’s Department of History, the Institute for Historical Studies, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the LBJ Presidential Library, Humanities Texas, and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

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