Presidential Academy

  • Program Overview
  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Program Evaluation

Presidential Academy’s Presidential Academy is an entire course in American History, from the Founding to the late 20th Century, complete with lectures, guiding questions, and primary-source readings.

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Part 1: The Declaration of Independence

America’s Founding principles are found in the Declaration of Independence, the starting point for our course.

Part 1

Part 2: The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln redefines what the Civil War is about, and his words serve to focus our study of 19th Century American History.

Part 2

Part 3: MLK's "I Have a Dream" Speech

The American experiment in self-government and liberty continues in the words of MLK.

Part 3

Program Evaluation

Research-based evaluation of the Presidential Academy program over six years.


Presidential Academy was a grant-funded program that presented to groups of teachers who met and studied in three cities over two weeks, with discussions rooted in three separate documents. The first days were in Philadelphia, beginning with the American Founding, through the Declaration of Independence. Additional documents and ideas were addressed and analyzed throughout the several sessions there before the group moved on to Gettysburg and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Finally, the group moved to Washington, D.C., and study of modern America, with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as the focal point.

Each session is made up of a set of readings, all linked from its blog post, and usually one lecture. Guiding questions and focus issues are at the foundation of each week’s study. You can subscribe to our iTunes Podcast feed by clicking here, and the entire course, divided into the three major sections – Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Washington – is available on iTunesU, and is linked through the pages for Parts 1, 2, and 3. on iTunes

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Ashland University

Training Social Studies Teachers Since 1989 is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

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