“Understanding Lincoln,” a live online graduate course exploring the life of Abraham Lincoln, is now open for registration


Josh Landon
646.366.9666 x37
[email protected]

New York, NY (April 24, 2014) – The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Dickinson College have once again joined forces to offer K–12 educators a unique opportunity for boosting their professional credentials. “Understanding Lincoln,” a three-credit graduate course exploring the life and latest historical insights about Abraham Lincoln, is now open for registration.

The course will offer up to 100 participants the opportunity to engage in live, seminar-style discussions led by noted Lincoln scholar Matthew Pinsker, a Dickinson College historian and Visiting Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. “Understanding Lincoln” will allow a limited number of participants to converse with one another and Professor Pinsker in real time, with primary documents from Lincoln’s own hand serving as the starting point for a wide-ranging study of the sixteenth president’s life.

Pinsker has organized the course around five of Lincoln’s popular characterizations—“Railsplitter,” “Honest Abe,” “Father Abraham,” “Great Emancipator,” and “Savior of the Union”—which he uses to explore their origins and assess their validity. Through this unique approach, participants will come to better understand Lincoln as man and president.

In addition to the live seminar sessions led by Professor Pinsker, the course will include special roundtable discussions with scholars from the US Army War College and the New America Foundation. These scholars will address challenges ranging from Lincoln’s use of war powers to the cultural memory of his presidency, with live questions from course participants shaping each conversation.

This innovative course blends a traditional liberal arts environment with features that can only be found online, combining first-rate scholars and small class sizes with virtual field trips, interactive discussions, and the extensive use of digital history tools. As an added bonus, the three participants with the best final projects will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Dickinson College to present their work and join Professor Pinsker for a private tour of Gettysburg Battlefield.

Educators who enroll will work one-on-one with Professor Pinsker to develop practical, twenty-first-century teaching tools for use in classrooms across the United States. Participants will also discover new resources for teaching literacy skills under the Common Core State Standards. “Teachers have heard the call,” says Tim Bailey, a Senior Education Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the 2009 National History Teacher of the Year. “We must inspire and instruct our students to make arguments and draw insights from within the four corners of each text we present.”

Registration for the 2014 offering of “Understanding Lincoln” will remain open through May 27, and the course will begin with its first live session on June 3. Auditors may watch session recordings and pursue a Continuing Education Certificate of Completion for $25. Teachers from Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools may audit for just $15.

For more information and to enroll, visit www.gilderlehrman.org/Lincoln

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a New York–based national nonprofit devoted to the teaching and learning of American history. Gilder Lehrman draws on top scholars, an unparalleled collection of original historical documents, and a national network of affiliate schools to create and provide a broad range of innovative resources, help new generations of students learn about American history in a way that is engaging and memorable, and promotes critical thinking and excellent writing.

About Dickinson College

Dickinson College, founded in 1773, is a highly selective, private residential liberal-arts college known for its innovative curriculum. Its mission is to offer students a useful education in the arts and sciences that will prepare them for lives as engaged citizens and leaders. The 180-acre campus of Dickinson College is located in the heart of historic Carlisle, Pa. The college offers 42 majors with an emphasis on international studies, has more than 40 study-abroad programs in 24 countries on six continents, and offers 13 modern languages.

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