“Greater international awareness is essential if we are to compete in the global economy, promote responsible citizenship, or just become better human beings.”
Dr. Marvin Wachman (1917-2007) was a great advocate for educating young people. In a distinguished academic career, he served as president of both Temple University and Lincoln University and led the Foreign Policy Research Institute as president from 1983 to 1989. Throughout his life, he remained a passionate believer that “you never stop learning.”
Established in 1990, the Wachman Center seeks to foster the civic and international literacy in the community and in the classroom.
The centerpiece of Wachman Center’s educational programming is our series of weekend-long conferences for high school teachers, usually 2-3 a year focusing on a wide range of topics in U.S. and world history. In 2015, we also held a week long study trip for teachers to South Korea, and continued this in 2016 with a two-week trip to Japan. Over the past twenty years, these History Institutes have garnered a national reputation for excellence and have worked with over 1000 teachers from over 800 different schools in 47 states.
Its work is focused in four core areas:
• Teaching Military History
• Teaching Asia
• Teaching the Middle East and 9/11
• Teaching the History of Innovation
The Center reaches teachers and classrooms across the nation through Footnotes, its bulletin for educators, which are frequently reprinted in American Educator and other education journals and posted at other websites; through webcasts for high school classrooms; through the books it produces with Mason Crest, and through its History Institutes for Teachers. FPRI essays are often posted by ERIC, the Education Resources Information Center, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. FPRI has also published an e-book, American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students, which is a compilation of essays drawn from previous history weekends.
Walter McDougall and David Eisenhower co-chair the Center’s History Institutes for Teachers. These history institutes have received generous funding from the Annenberg Foundation, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, H.F. Lenfest, I. Wistar Morris, III, W.W. Kean Butcher, Bruce Hooper, and the Stuart Family Foundation, and in-kind support from the Cantigny First Division Foundation, a division of the McCormick Foundation.
Each weekend-long program provides some 40 educators from around the country the opportunity to learn directly from the top scholars in their fields on subjects teachers are often under-prepared to teach. Many more teachers access the videotapes, reports, classroom lessons, and other materials posted at our website.
Why Does America Go To War?
In March 2017, FPRI will sponsor a history institute for teachers on “Why Does America Go To War?” The question is designed to examine the decision to go to war, which is the most momentous any leader, any nation, can make. Why has the United States gone to war in the past? Who advocated for war and who resisted—and why did they do so? What were the strategic/military considerations? How did each experience with going to war shape the discussion of subsequent conflicts?
These vital questions will guide the discussion at our next History Institute for Teachers.