WSJ profiles the N-YHS's Fellows at the Academy for Teachers





Listening to Kenneth Jackson, a professor of history at Columbia University, lecture 15 top New York City public school history teachers at the New-York Historical Society on Monday morning, I was reminded of another great history teacher, Charles Cook....

[H]e glowed even when it came to eras in which he didn't have a vested interest. He had a particular passion for the Civil War. In common with other great educators, he never talked down to his students; he never taught by rote; his talent seemed merely a felicitous byproduct of his passion for his subject.

It was obvious that Mr. Jackson, a former president of the New-York Historical Society, also has the gift. As he discussed the causes of World War I, the teachers, most of them from high schools and a few from middle schools, were assembled around him, seminar-style, in the Society's soaring library. They included representatives from the Bronx Academy of Letters; the Beacon School; J.H.S. 157 Stephen A. Halsey; Midwood High School; the High School for Environmental Studies; Stuyvesant High School; I.S. 190; and the High School of American Studies at Lehman College.

All of them were freshly minted Fellows at the Academy for Teachers, a new initiative that recognizes great teachers in the New York City public school system, treating them as intellectuals and bringing them together in dialogue with leading scholars. The Academy, a nonprofit started by Sam Swope, the dean of the New York Public Library's Cullman Center Institute for Teachers, kicked off only last spring....



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