In the summer of 2016, dozens of school teachers from around the country came to Charlottesville for a series of workshops to learn new ways to teach about one of America’s most cherished – and controversial – founding fathers.
Led by Lisa Reilly, an associate professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia, the workshops delved into the contradictions and complexities of Thomas Jefferson and the ways that teachers can bring those topics into the classroom.
It was such a success that in August, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Reilly a $157,956 grant to create a two-week teachers’ institute using the same model.
“Thomas Jefferson: The Public and Private Worlds of Monticello and the University of Virginia,” will bring teachers from across the United States to Charlottesville to learn more about the Thomas Jefferson’s multi-faceted life, both at Monticello and the University. It will offer access to the extensive records Jefferson kept throughout his life, including working records of Monticello and UVA’s founding, as well as his architectural designs. Next year’s program will take place from July 8 to 20.
The institute, offered by UVA’s Center for Liberal Arts, offers educators a hands-on approach to history and an in-depth perspective they can take back to their schools. UVA Today recently caught up with Reilly to find out more about this unique opportunity and how it will help bring primary historical sources to classrooms across America.