Programs > K-12 Programs > Teaching American History > Preserving Our Democracy > Preserving Our Democracy Courses, Seminars, Institutes

2009 Summer Institute

Using FDR's "Four Freedoms" to Teach American History
August 17-21, 2009
Held at the Assumption College
Ed O'Donnell and Stephanie Yuhl, both from the College of the Holy Cross, will be co-teaching the institute

This week-long TAH summer institute will focus on twentieth century American history, with a particular emphasis on the period of the New Deal and World War II. Using President Franklin D. Roosevelt's stirring January 6, 1941 "Four Freedoms" speech as a touchstone document, the institute will devote a day to the examination of each freedom (Freedom of Speech; Freedom of Worship; Freedom from Want; Freedom from Fear). Through an offering of content lectures, primary source workshops, and pedagogy strategy sessions, teachers will delve deeply into a wide range of historical issues and events related to each freedom. During the day devoted to Freedom from Speech, for example, participants will examine topics such as the Sedition Act of 1917, the Scopes Trial of 1925, and the Supreme Court case, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette of 1943 (the latter being a seminal primary document listed in the Massachusetts Frameworks). In addition to deepening their knowledge of the Four Freedoms and the larger historical framework from which they originated, participants in this institute will develop lesson plans and a model for staging in-class historical debates.


Applications are due May 29, 2009.

Download an application


Priority will be given to Worcester Public Schools teachers because this program is funded by the Preserving Our Democracy Teaching American History grant, awarded to the district in 2007. Participants will earn 3 graduate credits for this institute from Worcester State College. As part of the Preserving Our Democracy TAH grant, WPS participants pay the much-reduced cost of $300 for the graduate credits; teachers from other school districts will pay a slightly higher rate set by Worcester State College. A reading list will be provided, and participants are responsible for obtaining and paying for the readings. Participants will be expected to complete assigned readings, participate during the entire week of the program, and complete a final project.

For more information, contact:
Amy Lynn Sopcak-Joseph
Education Coordinator
American Antiquarian Society
Worcester, MA 01609