This Institute was a joint project of The Churchill Centre and the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University. It was an ideal partnership for this institute. The world’s preeminent scholars on Winston Churchill are associated with The Churchill Centre, and they provided the academic program for the institute. The Ashbrook Center has years of extensive experience offering programs for secondary teachers, and the Center coordinated and administered the institute.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C. but active internationally, The Churchill Centre works to foster leadership, statesmanship, vision, and boldness among democratic and freedom-loving peoples worldwide, through the thoughts, words, works, and deeds of Winston Spencer Churchill.
The Centre has an active membership in America, and affiliates in the Churchill Societies of Great Britain, Canada, and Portugal. Together, the Centre and Societies publish the quarterly journal Finest Hour, a newsletter called the Chartwell Bulletin, the biannual Churchill Proceedings, and other specialty publications. The Centre and Societies sponsor annual international conferences; Churchill tours which have visited Britain, Australia, France, Morocco, and South Africa; and an internet website, WinstonChurchill.org. Thanks to the internet, the average age of Churchill Centre members is under 50.
The Churchill Centre has helped bring about republication of over twenty of Churchill’s long out-of-print books, and launched the campaign for completion of the Churchill War Papers. The Centre has sponsored academic symposia, most recently at the Library of Congress during the 2004 exhibit, “Churchill and the Great Republic.” It also sponsors the Churchill Lecture Series, in which prominent figures apply Sir Winston’s experience to the world today.
Members of The Churchill Centre and Societies have contributed over $1.5 million to a permanent endowment and have established a permanent headquarters in Washington. Centre offices are building toward a standard Churchill library; computer facilities linked to the major Churchill archives; teaching programs for schoolchildren; college and graduate level courses on the career of Churchill; fellowships to assist graduate students; and visiting professorships and academic chairs. The overall aim of all these projects is to impress Churchill’s qualities and achievements firmly on the leaders of the 21st century.
The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio is an organization experienced in offering content-based summer institutes for secondary social studies teachers. The Ashbrook Center’s mission is to teach the meaning and significance of America.
The largest program at the Ashbrook Center is a series of professional development institutes and seminars for American history teachers. Originally funded by the Commission of the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, the Center first offered these intensive, content-based summer institutes in 1990. Over the past 14 years, more than 600 teachers from 40 states have participated in the Ashbrook Center’s programs. The programs have been funded by a variety of private foundations and government grants.
These intensive institutes encourage history teachers to deepen and broaden their understanding of American history. The intensive summer institutes and seminars hosted by the Ashbrook Center always focus on historical topics that social studies teachers need to understand to be well-prepared. Unlike most professional development programs for teachers, which focus solely on teaching methods, these seminars emphasize substantive themes of American history. Their discussions revolve around primary source documents and their use in the classroom as a way to engage students and increase student achievement.
A key element of the institutes is the Ashbrook Center’s website for teachers, TeachingAmericanHistory.org. This user-friendly website features many interactive tools, including an extensive library of original historical documents, an audio archive of previous Summer Institutes, links to other archives and resources, and special exhibits, including an exhibit on the Constitutional Convention. Teachers use this site both before and during the Institutes to prepare for the daily discussions. Throughout the week, teachers discuss ways to use the website in their own classrooms.