Teaching American History Lecture Focuses On America's First Generation

April 13, 2006
News Photo 3429Dr. Joyce Appleby

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

A prominent historian known for connecting current events with the people, values and institutions of early America will visit Baylor University later this month as a guest of the Teaching American History Lecture Series, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Joyce Appleby, professor emerita of history at the University of California-Los Angeles, will speak on "The Legacy of America's First Generation" from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in the Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom and Courtroom at Baylor Law School.

A reception will follow for 37 Teaching American History Fellows from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the community room at the Mayborn Museum Complex, which is located next to Baylor Law School. The teachers, all from Central Texas schools, will participate in the Summer 2006 Teaching American History Institute at Baylor.

The lecture series and summer teaching institutes are two of several initiatives included in a nearly $1 million "Teaching American History" grant, awarded in October 2003 to Baylor's School of Education, department of history and Region 12 Education Service Center. The three-year project supports collaborations between school districts and institutions to ensure that teachers develop the knowledge, skills and commitments necessary to teach traditional American history in exciting and engaging ways.

"We are quite pleased to welcome Professor Appleby to Baylor," said Dr. J. Wesley Null, associate professor in the School of Education and the Honors College and TAH project director. "Her lecture is part of a very important event that allows us to honor the Fellows who have been chosen to participate in our summer institute. We received a record number of applications this year, and the group of teachers with whom we will be working this June is a distinguished group of teacher-scholars."

The summer institute from June 5-23 at the Mayborn Museum Complex allows Baylor and its grant partners to provide high-quality professional development for history and social studies teachers from Axtell, Belton, China Spring, Connally, Coolidge, Fairfield, Hamilton, Kopperl, Lorena, Marlin, Mart, Midway, Moody, Riesel, Temple, Valley Mills, Waco and Whitney school districts. Together, they impact more than 20,000 students.

Through "Crossroads in American History," districts will demonstrate how comprehensive professional development affects high-quality American history teaching, while students increase their knowledge and achievement in American history.

"Our Teaching American History grant in general and this lecture in particular represent Baylor's continued commitment to serving the teachers and children in our local community," Null said. "Teachers of history and social studies are the public servants who have the most direct link to providing civic curriculum to the young people in our communities. That means that working with, encouraging and respecting this group of teachers is a very important task indeed."

A 1950 graduate of Stanford University, Appleby earned her master's degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1959 and her doctorate from Claremont Graduate School in 1966. In 1981, she was appointed to the faculty at UCLA, where she taught for 20 years. Her research covers England, France and America in the early modern period, with an emphasis on liberal values and institutions.

Appleby is the author or co-author of several books, including the award-winning "Ideology and Economic Thought in 17th Century England," "Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination," "Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans" and "Telling the Truth About History." She also has served on the editorial boards of the "American Historical Review" and the "William and Mary Quarterly."

In 2003, Appleby completed a biography of Thomas Jefferson, which was published as part of the Henry Holt presidential series, and edited a volume of the writings of Thomas Paine for Barnes and Noble Classics. She also edited the inaugural collection of "The Best American History Essays 2006," published by the Organization of American Historians.

Appleby has served as president of several prestigious associations, including the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she holds membership in both the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In retirement, she continues to co-direct the History News Service, an informal association that distributes opinion essays written by historians to more than 300 newspapers. She also is active in the living wage movement in Los Angeles.

For more information, contact Null at (254) 710-6120 or Wesley_Null@baylor.edu. For more information about the Teaching American History grant, as well as a complete list of the 2006 Fellows, visit http://www.baylor.edu/soe/crossroads/.

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