It seems like every day I wake up to news of a state having passed legislation or debating legislation that seeks to protect students from being exposed to certain aspects of the American past. We are told that exposure to the history of slavery, for example, may upset them or cause psychological damage of some sort. It’s clear that these people have never stepped foot into a classroom or spent time with young people.
With this in mind I wanted to share a recent interview with three students from Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute. All three are Pohanka Interns, who have worked at a National Park Service site during the summer months. They were accompanied by my good friend and CWI director, Peter Carmichael. The interview is well worth your time.
These students are all highly articulate and are passionate about the study of the past. What stood out most to me most is their fearlessness. They embrace the complexity of the past and are willing to tackle the tough questions that many wish to push under the table.
This program takes students seriously and impresses upon them just how important history is to the general public and the responsibility involved in delivering good history.
As a teacher I couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks to the entire CWI staff for giving these students an experience that they will not soon forget.