Oglethorpe professor leads Forsyth County teacher workday session

On February 22, Professor of Politics Dr. Joe Knippenberg traveled to Forsyth County, Georgia to lead a teacher workday session about the Federalist Papers and the importance of primary-source documents in the classroom.

He was joined by Matthew Thompson ’93, an Oglethorpe alumnus who now teaches English and History at Forsyth Central High School — and a former student of Dr. Knippenberg.

Dr. Joe Knippenberg (right) and Matthew Thompson ’93

The talk was sponsored by the Jack Miller Center, a public charity that “works with professors and educators to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn the history and principles at the heart of American political life.” In attendance were U.S. History and U.S. Government teachers from West Forsyth, South Forsyth, North Forsyth, Forsyth Central, Lambert, and Denmark High Schools, as well as Forsyth County’s Alliance Academy. 

The session was important, Thompson said, because “the AP assessments are all stimulus based, and usually the stimulus is a primary source; so for AP and IB programs, dealing with primary sources is very important. And it’s good for on-level teachers to get kids looking at primary sources as well.”

The day was structured in the form of a lecture from Dr. Knippenberg on best practices for working the Federalist Papers into the classroom, followed by breakouts for teacher discussions before reconvening with the larger group.

“I would like to help teachers become more sophisticated in the way they present material that I think is really important for civic engagement,” says Dr. Knippenberg. “It’s important to know what we’re talking about, and to think about politics in a way that recognizes the structures in which we’re operating.” 

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