All resources in Troops to Teachers 2019

Troops to Teachers: Helping Classrooms and Communities Understand the Military Experience

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Teaching, like military service, is a profession in which the personal and professional are very closely tied. Teachers in K–12 grades receive a high degree of training and credentialing, but their practice is also profoundly informed by experience and service. The culture of teaching reflects a civic-minded call to duty, and the motivation and reward is often intrinsic. It should come as no surprise then that many former military personnel choose to enter education in a lateral-entry career path. Service leadership provides the critical motivation that transforms the training from hypothetical to actual.With the generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this five-day institute welcomed 15 educators who are also veterans in a project-based initiative to help classrooms and communities better understand the military family experience. Noted literary scholars worked with participants to better understand and access key themes such as duty, sacrifice, and homecoming using literature, poetry, and popular media culture.  The cohort then designed projects to support their home communities and schools in the same process.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Andy Mink

Making Sense of Battle: Journalism and Photography of the Civil War

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During the Civil War, Americans both North and South were surrounded by death. Battle claimed over 600,000 lives. A similar casualty rate in today's America would result in about 6 million deaths. Just as we would struggle to make sense of such massive tragedy, our countrymen did 150 years ago. And then, as now, new communications technologies brought events into people's lives with unprecedented speed and immediacy. How did innovations in journalism and photography heighten the impact of the War's carnage on the home fronts? How did news and images from the battlefield challenge nineteenth-century beliefs about death and burial? And how did they challenge people to find meaning in the War?

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Eliza Richards

Winslow Homer’s Civil War Art

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The unprecedented scale of the U.S. Civil War, both in its massive mobilization and in its terrible human cost, presented a tremendous challenge to visual artists who had never experienced anything like this before and had few if any visual models to imitate. Winslow Homer was perhaps the most important and innovative "delineator" of the war. Working initially as an illustrator for Harper's Weekly, he started by producing conventional images of heroic battle but soon developed a new vocabulary for visualizing the strange new realities of modern warfare.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Kirk Savage

Enlightened by the Rockets' Red Glare: The Meaning of the "Star-Spangled Banner"

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We think we know "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- but how many of us realize that Francis Scott Key was not looking at the flag we now revere as the original, and that he never set foot inside Fort McHenry? An instant success in 1814, the anthem's first stanza opens so many sporting events today that some Americans think it ends with the words "Play ball!" Yet as we anticipate the first pitch, we often fail to pay attention to what our anthem actually says, to its expression of doubt, anxiety, danger, and the difficulty of envisioning a new republic. And what of the three verses we don't sing? Explore the context and meaning of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to understand how it illuminates Enlightenment thought and America's early struggle to define itself as a nation.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Robert A. Ferguson

World War II in Public Memory: The Good War Thesis Revisited

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To this day, World War II looms large in our public memory. Be it in movies and TV shows, bestsellers, exhibits, or in politics, references to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the home front, D-Day, Iwo Jima, the Blitz, Hiroshima, and other sites and events of the War abound. Embedded in these shared ideas about World War II are messages about national unity, pain and triumph, endurance, valor, service, and the role the United States played in defeating evil empires. Most Americans are comfortable with the lesson that World War II was a “good war,” which Americans fought willingly against a group of dangerous enemies to peace and humanity and in the process built a better world. But how does this conclusion compare to the historical record? What have been the consequences of what Studs Terkel has called the “good war” thesis? What else can we learn from the history of World War II? On the 70th anniversary of the Yalta Conference of the Allies, this seminar highlights the complex relationships between domestic and international affairs and provides specific suggestions for getting students to make larger connections and apply their historical thinking to real-life scenarios

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Volker Janssen

Teaching War Fiction I: The Red Badge of Courage

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This series will compare three fictional accounts of war widely taught in American high schools. It will illuminate how the depiction of war evolved from the romance-tinged realism of The Red Badge of Courage through the unsparing naturalism of All Quiet on the Western Front to the knowing irony of The Things They Carried. How are heroism, glory, honor, patriotism, and sacrifice portrayed in each? How did the image of the soldier change over the century between The Red Badge of Courage and The Things They Carried? How did the presentation of battle change? What meaning does each work assign to war? Prepare for combat in your classroom by joining us to explore these and other questions

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Eliza Richards

Teaching War Fiction II: All Quiet on the Western Front

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This series will compare three fictional accounts of war widely taught in American high schools. It will illuminate how the depiction of war evolved from the romance-tinged realism of The Red Badge of Courage through the unsparing naturalism of All Quiet on the Western Front to the knowing irony of The Things They Carried. How are heroism, glory, honor, patriotism, and sacrifice portrayed in each? How did the image of the soldier change over the century between The Red Badge of Courage and The Things They Carried? How did the presentation of battle change? What meaning does each work assign to war? Prepare for combat in your classroom by joining us to explore these and other questions

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Patrick Deer

Teaching War Fiction III: The Things They Carried

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This series will compare three fictional accounts of war widely taught in American high schools. It will illuminate how the depiction of war evolved from the romance-tinged realism of The Red Badge of Courage through the unsparing naturalism of All Quiet on the Western Front to the knowing irony of The Things They Carried. How are heroism, glory, honor, patriotism, and sacrifice portrayed in each? How did the image of the soldier change over the century between The Red Badge of Courage and The Things They Carried? How did the presentation of battle change? What meaning does each work assign to war? Prepare for combat in your classroom by joining us to explore these and other questions

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Roy Scranton

The Price of Liberation in World War II

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Americans are justly proud of the role their country played in liberating Europe from Nazi tyranny. But in celebrating the success of United States soldiers, we often forget to consider the human cost of war. The liberation of Europe in 1944-45 provides an opportunity to study the American victory alongside the tragic suffering of civilians who were caught in the crossfire. This webinar is for teachers who want to expose their students to the extraordinary events of the Second World War’s climactic battle—the Battle of Normandy—while also including in our study of war the high price paid by families, women and children, refugees, and humanitarian relief workers who toil in the shadow of powerful armies.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: William Hitchcock

Humanities Moments Submission Guide

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The Humanities Moments project was created by the National Humanities Center to explore how moments of inspiration in everyday life are produced, re ned, and even challenged by the humanities. The stories which make up this collection are presented as submitted, capturing the experiences of those who have shared them in their own words — re eating their individual views, interpretations, and conclusions. This submission guide will help you to think through and share your own Humanities Moment.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: National Humanities Center

Humanities Moments

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From an academic standpoint, the humanities include the study of history, philosophy and religion, modern and ancient languages and literatures, fine and performing arts, media and cultural studies, and other fields. Humanities research adds to our knowledge of the world, as scholars investigate differences between cultures and communities around the world and across time, consider the ways art is made and received, or unveil the undercurrents that have shaped history. Humanities education encourages students to think creatively and critically, to reason, and ask questions. And, as the humanities offer insight into nearly every aspect of life, they have been considered a core element of a well-rounded education since ancient times. Put simply, the humanities help us understand and interpret the human experience, as individuals and societies. By illustrating the importance of the humanities for people from all walks of life, the project seeks to reimagine the way we think and talk about the humanities. By highlighting their transformative power, the Humanities Moments project illuminates how our encounters with the humanities fuel the process of discovery, encourage us to think and feel more deeply, and provide the means to solve problems as individuals and as a society.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: National Humanities Center