Project Description

“Considering the vast differences between those who attended high school in 1917 and the near-universal enrollments of today, the stability of students’ ignorance is amazing,” Sam Wineburg writes in Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts. “The whole world has turned on its head, but one thing has stayed the same: kids don’t know history.” But what does “know history” mean? In the classroom, history teachers work with a mix of methods and techniques for giving students basic historical information—the sequence of historical periods; dates of important events; key figures in social, political, and cultural movements. It is often more difficult, however, to impart an understanding of how the past is constructed and how historians work. Just as the excitement of studying science comes from conducting experiments, from learning how scientists make discoveries and verify data, the pleasure of studying history comes from learning how historians think about the past and its relation to the present.

“Civics” has been defined as the “…study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government.” In this workshop we will directly engage with foundational American documents such as The Federalist Papers and the United States Constitution and its Amendments; seminal Supreme Court cases (Brown vs. Board of Education, Roe vs. Wade); and some contemporary journalistic and political writings. We will ask such questions as: What is the nature of an “independent judiciary” and why is the Constitutionally premised separation of powers so critical to our sound political functioning? How strong are the basic institutions of American democracy and what must we do as citizens to ensure their survival? Through our encounters with these texts we will work to re-invigorate the study of civics through a judicial and Constitutional lens and devise methods and means to bring the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship alive to our students.

Writing and Thinking Workshops
Sunday through Friday, July 9-14

Early-bird fee: $1,350
The early-bird payment deadline is June 1, 2017.

Regular fee (after June 1): $1,500

Early-bird Commuter fee*: $1,050
Regular Commuter fee* (after June 1): $1,200

Registration fees must be paid in full before or at workshop check-in on July 9.

Fees include tuition, materials, a single-occupancy room on the Bard campus, and meals beginning with Sunday dinner and ending with Saturday breakfast.

*Commuter fee includes tuition, materials, and week-day lunches only.

See List of Workshops Offered
Register for a Workshop

Cancellation Policy: For cancellations up to a week before the workshop, IWT will refund the full workshop fee, minus the $60 non-refundable deposit required at registration.

No refunds can be given for cancellations made later than a week before the event.