Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American
Civil War Commission Workgroup 3 (Education)
August 15, 2007
Workgroup 3 (Education)
of the Virginia Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the American Civil War
Commission held its organizational meeting on August 15, 2007, in Richmond.
The Commission was established by the 2006 General Assembly to prepare,
lead, and coordinate Virginia’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary
of the American Civil War. Together with an Executive Committee and Advisory
Council, the Commission has established three workgroups, consisting of
numerous experts, elected officials, state and local agency staff, and
citizens representing a myriad of disciplines, professional associations,
and community organizations throughout the Commonwealth to assist it with
its work: Workgroup 1 (Coordination); Workgroup 2 (Signature Events);
and Workgroup 3 (Education).
OF WORKGROUP 3 (EDUCATION)
One of the most important objectives of the commemoration of the 150th
anniversary of the American Civil War in Virginia is educating and providing
complete and historically accurate information to citizens, particularly
students, young adults, and newcomers to the state concerning the war,
Virginia’s role, the legacy of the war, and the significance of
the war to contemporary society. To this end, the Education Workgroup
has responsibility for the following:
of the public education community. To stimulate awareness,
enhance knowledge, and promote interest and appreciation of this era
in American history and life; place events in historical context, particularly
relative to new research findings; and facilitate an understanding of
the significance of this historical period to contemporary society.
of the Standards of Learning for History and Social Studies.
To review the Standards of Learning for History and Social Studies,
its curriculum framework, and the Enhanced Scope and Sequence Guides
to ensure that the instructional blueprint is current, balanced, and
accurate in its account of American Civil War history, preceding, during,
and after the War. To provide supplemental instructional materials and
resources for teachers. To stimulate an avid interest in history and
the love and appreciation of lifelong learning and academic excellence
among students and to promote the development of critical thinking and
analytical skills. To promote mastery of academic skills required by
SOLs and NCLB, improved SOL pass rates, and increased student knowledge
of history, particularly American Civil War history.
institutes. To equip classroom teachers to impart relevant,
timely, and historically accurate instruction to students concerning
the American Civil War, including, but not limited to its prelude, duration,
aftermath, and legacy, through creative and innovative instructional
modalities that accommodate student learning styles, are consistent
with the Standards of Learning in History and Social Studies, and enable
teachers to satisfy in-service training requirements.
of institutions of higher education. To marshal the collective
assets and expertise of institutions of higher education to promote
and coalesce academic inquiry and scholarly research pertaining to the
American Civil War. To facilitate public discourse concerning this period
in American history, Virginia’s role, the legacy of the war, and
the implication and application of lessons learned.
- Law school
symposia. To educate the citizenry and examine, reflectively,
the historical, political, social, and legal context of the 13th, 14th,
and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, their significance
to the foundation and reinforcement of the Rule of Law, and the relevance
of these Amendments to the legacy of the war and contemporary national
and global issues.
of public libraries. To ensure the broad diffusion of information
concerning the commemoration of the sesquicentennial and the availability
and access of commemorative materials, documents, exhibits, and resources
to citizens throughout the Commonwealth.
OF THE COMMISSION
Cheryl Jackson, Commission Coordinator, presented an overview of the Commission’s
statutory duties, organization, activities, and plans. Ms. Jackson commented
that Virginia is the only state with advanced planning and an established
statewide commission to commemorate the sesquicentennial anniversary of
the war. She also summarized the history and activities of the centennial
commemoration in Virginia to provide the background and context for planning
the 150th commemoration, noting similarities between the commemorations,
mistakes to avoid and lessons learned, and the gateway before the Commission
to maximize and market the Commonwealth’s educational, economic,
tourism, and historical assets, demonstrate national leadership, and ensure
the participation of all citizens in the observance of this significant
mark in American history.
Members of the Education Workgroup were canvassed prior to the meeting
to ascertain their perspectives concerning the “message” that
students and the public should receive prior to and during the commemoration
of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. A roundtable discussion
was devoted to a candid airing of comments, perspectives, and suggestions
regarding the message that should be promoted, various mechanisms for
delivering the message to specific audiences, collaboration among the
public and private and higher education systems, community involvement,
diversity among the membership of the workgroup, the importance of inclusiveness
and the investment of all citizens in the commemoration, and ways to encourage
their participation. Common themes and points of agreement identified
from among the comments and suggestions solicited of the workgroup members
prior to the meeting were summarized by Brenda Edwards, staff contact
for Workgroup 3, who also presented proposed objectives and specific strategies
to accomplish each of the workgroup’s goals.
AND FUTURE MEETINGS
The staff’s proposed objectives were adopted as the framework for
the workgroup’s plans. Workgroup members were asked to submit additional
ideas, suggestions, and cost estimates to assist the staff in refining
the objectives and establishing priority events, programs, and activities.
Using the members’ contributions and other information, the staff
was directed to construct a definitive work plan for the Workgroup’s
consideration at its next meeting.
A summary of the
workgroup’s meeting and proposed objectives will be presented by
Delegate Algie Howell, the workgroup chairman, to the Executive Committee
and the Commission. When a date is chosen for the next workgroup meeting
it will be posted to the DLS sponsored website and the Commission website.
Chairman of Workgroup 3
The Hon. Algie
T. Howell, Jr.
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Record > 2007
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