Teachers trace path of Lewis and Clark

(July 27, 2010) LOUISVILLE, Ky.- Group discusses "Manifest Destiny" as part of the McConnell Center's Summer Teacher Institute.
Teachers trace path of Lewis and Clark

While studying "Manifest Destiny" in Portland, Ore., 15 Ky. teachers stand in front of a "salt shop" replica that Lewis and Clark would have used.

Fifteen Ky. social studies teachers spent the week in Portland, Ore., immersed in discussion about the ideological background of America's so-called "Manifest Destiny." The group also traced the steps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, visiting their encampment at Fort Clatsop and their arrival to the Pacific Ocean at Cape Disappointment.

The July 18-23 conference was part of the Summer Teacher Institute, an annual program through the McConnell Center's Civic Education Initiative.

"The Summer Institute on Manifest Destiny has challenged and inspired me," said Duane McClain, a social studies teacher at Spencer County Middle School. "The accomplishments and mistakes arising from this view of America's purpose are vital understandings for history teachers," he said.

"I really gained intellectually from the discussions and readings," said Jill Lewis, a high school U.S. history teacher at Corbin High School. "I know my students will benefit from the knowledge I gained and new perspectives I will bring to the classroom."

Conference readings included The Federalist, Liberty and Order, The Webster/Hayne Debate on the Nature of the Union, and On Liberty, Society and Politics: The Essential Essays of William Graham Sumner.

The conference was co-sponsored by the McConnell Center and Liberty Fund, Inc.

Summer Teacher Institute participants included:

• Discussion Leader — Dr. Brad Birzer, History professor, Hillsdale College
• Discussion Leader — Dr. Kenneth Grasso, Political science professor, Texas State University
• Participant — Stephanie Anderson, Seneca High School
• Participant — Angela Brown, Trimble County High School
• Participant — Craig Brown, Eastern High School
• Participant — Stacy Calhoun, North Laurel Middle School
• Participant — Randy Cox, J. Graham Brown School
• Participant — Craig Eastham, Somerset High School
• Participant — Steven Goodrid, Daviess County High School
• Participant — Charles Hall, Letcher County Central High School
• Participant — Austin Hunsaker, Henry County High School
• Participant — Jill Lewis, Corbin High School
• Participant — Duane McClain, Spencer County Middle School
• Participant — Rebecca Mueller, Bryan Station High School
• Participant — Jim Riffe, South Oldham High School
• Participant — Carmen Thompson, Elkhorn Middle School
• Participant — Kevin Webster, Owen County High School