227 years ago, the first amendment faced its first challenge in America’s young history. The Whiskey Rebellion, which took place in Washington County, was the first challenge on the constitution.
Waynesburg’s Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region program will host an opportunity for teachers Saturday, Feb. 24, in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties.
They will travel to the Waynesburg’s Southpointe location and take part in inquiry learning.
Defined by Sue Wise, associate director of the program, inquiry learning is when students go further than the classroom to learn about history.
The event is being offered through a partnership with the Bradford House Historical Association, which is providing each participant with one copy of “The Bradford House”, a book about the landmark, in addition to awarding six Act 48 hours, attributing to the amount of hours educators need to keep their certificate status active.
Clay Kilgore, executive director of Washington County Historical Society will also give insight on the Whiskey Rebellion.
Wise has done events like this in the past and this time she had some inspiration from a middle school teacher.
“Greg Giardina, who has a middle school social studies classroom, is particularly interested in the Whiskey Rebellion,” said Wise, “so he kind of started down this path of collecting primary sources around this topic, and I decided to create a full-blown classroom inquiry about this topic, so the idea is to investigate the first amendment.”
In the area, the Bradford House hosts a Whisky Rebellion festival in the summer, and with such high interest in the Whisky Rebellion, it provides a chance for professional development with primary sources.
“We as TPS, Teaching Primary Sources, pull resources from the Library of Congress, and support classroom teachers in doing investigations like this,” said Wise, “so we decided to make it into a professional development event. It’ll be a one-day seminar.”
Wise wants teachers to walk away able to go in depth on a topic that has close relation to the people in the area.
“We would hope that they would take a part of this,” said Wise, “and do some in-depth investigation with their students and then report back to us about how that worked or how they had to adapt as materials for their individual classrooms.”
The point of the event is to impart information to teachers, who, in turn, convey that information to their students to teach them that they can stand up to defend themselves no matter the size of the government, according to Wise.