I’m pleased to announce that my former colleague Matt Romaniello and I will be co-hosting an NEH Summer Seminar for high school teachers here at George Mason University during the last two weeks of July 2008. The seminar–Making Sense of 1989–is designed for high school teachers who want to deepen their understanding of the momentous events of 1989 in Eastern Europe and China, including the collapse of the communist regimes in Europe, the failure of the democracy movement on Tiananmen Square, and the subsequent end of the Cold War.
The seminar itself will blend sessions on the historical content conducted by leading experts in the field with a focus on historical thinking and how it does and does not happen in our classrooms (and why). In addition to learning a great deal about 1989 and its aftermath, participants in the seminar will also have the opportunity to create Primary Source Activities that they can take home and use in their classrooms and share with colleagues.
We will also ask the seminar participants to be beta testers of the bigger NEH project we’re working on that deals with 1989–Making the History of 1989. The first draft of the site is now up and content will begin to appear throughout the fall and winter.