Op-ed: Time is right to study Jefferson in our schools

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

By Jamie Gass and Will Fitzhugh

“Students of reading, writing, and common arithmetick . . . Graecian, Roman, English, and American history . . .,” Thomas Jefferson advised about democratic education, “should be able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens.”

Friday marks the 275th anniversary of Jefferson’s birthday. Given his world-changing achievements, this milestone is worthy of recognizing — and of being taught in our public schools. His contributions to the American civilization are incalculable; he was a revolutionary, statesman, diplomat, man-of-letters, scientist, architect, and apostle of liberty.

Rather than forcing a titan like Jefferson to conform to our era’s often Lilliputian-style narcissism, we should study history by entering the past with imagination and humility.

In drafting the Declaration of Independence, the most elegant and universally quoted political document in history, Jefferson displayed his greatest talents. He powerfully combined literary language and self-evident truths to shape the legal and political future of the United States.

Read more of this op-ed in your favorite news outlet: The Standard Times of New Bedford, The Berkshire Eagle, The Salem News, The MetroWest Daily News, The Providence Journal, and Gloucester Times, and The Daily Caller.

Get Updates On Our US History Initiative

Related Posts:

Brown Uni.’s Pulitzer-Winning Prof. Gordon Wood on American Independence & the Founding Fathers

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Gordon Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution.

Pulitzer Winner Diane McWhorter on Civil Rights History & Race in America

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard mark the Juneteenth commemoration of the end of slavery with an episode devoted to Civil Rights history. They are joined by Diane McWhorter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.

NYT Best-Selling Children’s Author Carole Boston Weatherford on Fannie Lou Hamer & Race in America

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Prof. Carole Boston Weatherford, a New York Times best-selling children’s book author, and Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winning biographer of Harriet Tubman and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Easthampton High Scores A National Educational Victory During The COVID-19 Pandemic

/
This spring, Massachusetts’ Easthampton High School was crowned national champion in the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” contest. The competition brings together about 1,200 students from across the country to answer civics questions based on America’s Founding Documents including the U.S. Constitution; The Federalist Papers; and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

We Must Work Together to End Racial Injustice

/
Read Pioneer Institute's Public Statement from Executive Director Jim Stergios on the need to address police brutality, racism, and economic inequality.

New York Times #1 best-selling author John M. Barry on the 1918 Influenza Pandemic & lessons for COVID-19

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by John M. Barry, author of the #1 New York Times best seller, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.

Stanford Pulitzer Winner David Kennedy on Lessons for COVID-19 from the 1918 Flu Epidemic & Great Depression

/
This week on “The Learning Curve” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Pulitzer-winning historian David Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University.

Will Fitzhugh on the Enduring Relevance of History Research & Writing

/
Will Fitzhugh, founder and editor of The Concord Review, an international journal that has published high school students’ history essays for 30 years, joins "The Learning Curve" this week.

The Learning Curve: "Wilfred McClay on his new book, Land of Hope"

/
Wilfred McClay, University of Oklahoma Professor, discusses his new high school textbook, "Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story," that seeks to provide an account of this nation's rich and complex story that puts it in proper perspective, and that is both honest and inspiring.

To Keep Our Republic, American Students Must Study The French Revolution

/
By Jamie Gass and Will Fitzhugh This op-ed appeared in The…

How Massachusetts Showed the Way on Education Reform

/
By Jamie Gass & Charles Chieppo Read this op-ed in The…

Marking the Centennial of the Armistice of the First World War

November 11th marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice…

Video Highlights Long-Running Journal that Publishes History Essays by High School Students

BOSTON - A new video highlights the work of Will Fitzhugh, who…

Remember Poland’s Working-Class Revolt Against Communism

/
This op-ed appeared in The Springfield Republican, The Standard-Times…