I guess it’s never too early to think about summer. Last week, I sent out a post on the NEH Workshops for Teachers, including the one MHS is sponsoring, “The Richest Hills: Mining in the Far West, 1862-1920.” But NEH is not the only organization providing free, or practically free, summer professional development opportunities.
The Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History also offers weeklong teacher seminars for graduate credit. Their options are varied—from broad overviews (“A Visual Approach to Teaching American History” and “American Women from the Colonial to the Modern Era) to more focused seminars (“The American Civil War through Material Culture—K-8 Teachers Only” and “The Era of George Washington.”)
If I could sign up for one of these seminars, I’d choose “Native American History,” with Colin Calloway. I’m a great admirer of his work. He’s written an absurd number of books including One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West Before Lewis and Clark (University of Nebraska Press, 2003), and his essay, “Army Allies or Tribal Survival?: The ‘Other Indians’ in the 1876 Campaign,” is the most interesting essay I’ve ever read on the Great Sioux War. (You can find it in your library or via interlibrary loan because the Montana Historical Society Press included it in two separate anthologies: Legacy: New Perspectives on the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1996) and Montana Legacy: Essays on History, People, and Place (2002).)
Gilder Lehrman’s summer seminars are free, and Gilder Lehrman pays for room and board. However, it only reimburses teachers up to $400 for travel—probably not enough to get to where most of these institutes are held from Montana, but certainly a help.