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Home > August 2015 > Weeklong Teacher Institute Focuses on the Vietnam War and Intrepid
Weeklong Teacher Institute Focuses on the Vietnam War and Intrepid
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Posted: 8/10/2015 12:00:00 AM

Weeklong Teacher Institute Focuses on the Vietnam War and Intrepid
 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. In anticipation of the opening of On the Line: Intrepid and the Vietnam War, the Museum’s new exhibition exploring Intrepid’s involvement in the conflict, our Education staff members offered a 36-hour, three-credit professional course for New York City public school teachers on teaching this difficult subject. For six days, 24 teachers from all disciplines immersed themselves in the study of this pivotal point in history through the lens of Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark and storied aircraft carrier that served three tours of duty in the Vietnam War.  

Teachers discussed contemporary views of the Vietnam War while delving into the experiences of the naval aviators, officers and enlisted men who served aboard Intrepid. They listened to presentations by scholars, investigated artifacts in the Museum’s collection, participated in curriculum workshops with Museum educators, and enjoyed tours and talks by Museum curators and guides.

Tom Grunfeld, visiting scholar and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at Empire State College, provided a comprehensive background on Vietnam and explored U.S. involvement in the region from the post–World War II era up to the present day. Teachers engaged in workshops that focused on using primary source archival materials and objects as teaching tools; learned how to record and use oral histories; shared strategies for incorporating music into lessons; and participated in literature circles, reading excerpts from The Things They Carried by author and Vietnam War veteran Tim O’Brien. The goal of the workshops was to equip teachers with content and materials that they could use in their classrooms.

Teachers were encouraged to use the lessons they created in this course to prepare a unit of study on the Vietnam War for their own classes. They will be invited back to the Intrepid Museum with their classes so that students can make critical and real-life connections to this National Historic Landmark, a place where history happened.

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