Midlands Summer Institute 2005

Teachers muster at Historic Brattonsville.Master Scholar Marty Matthews shares content knowledge with the class.Teachers get a glimpse of archaeology at Historic Columbia Foundation’s Mann-Simons cottage.Project Director Don Stewart demonstrates a model cotton gin as a resource for teachers to use in their classrooms.

The Midlands Institute brought the TAH summer to a close with 19 teachers making up the class.  TAH past participants Tim Hicks and Marc Turner worked together as Master Teachers sharing insights from their own experiences.  Master Scholar Marty Matthews focused on the theme of Unity and Disunity as he led the group through the study of American History to 1865.

In the first week teachers experienced three different types of cultural institutions that can be used to teach history in the classroom.  The South Carolina State Museum offers a traditional museum setting in which students can interact with object from the past.  At Historic Brattonsville the site itself, as well as the first and second person interpretation brings history alive for students.  At the South Carolina Department of Archives and History participants had a change to work with primary source documents that shaped the course of the state and the nation.

Week two found the group traveling to more sites.  The days were spent doing primary source research at South Caroliniana Library, learning about the plantation system at Kensington Mansion, exploring life in the city for both free and enslaved African Americans at Historic Columbia Foundation, and gaining a clear understanding of the road to disunion and the Civil War at the Confederate Relic Room and Museum.  Each of these cultural institutes offers a unique opportunity for teachers to generate an interest in history by bringing primary sources and personal stories into their classes.

As the Midlands Institute came to a close participants found themselves eager to apply what they had learned over the summer in their own classrooms in the upcoming year!