Members of the inaugural class of the Museum’s WWII Summer Teacher Institute—Team Pacific—have been in Hawaii this week to complete their year of participation in the program. These 30 middle school and high school teachers from around the country came to the Museum in summer 2016 to study World War II in the Pacific with historian and author Richard B. Frank. Each was provided a Museum-created curriculum guide in exchange for a commitment to share its content and the lessons they’d learned with teachers in their hometown. So far, those lessons have been shared with more than 1,000 teachers. The Institute’s second class—Team Europe—will assemble in New Orleans next week to study World War II in Europe with Donald L. Miller, PhD, then reconvene next summer for a week of study in Normandy, France.
Members of Team Pacific are sending daily dispatches about their experiences in Hawaii. Here’s a Day Five report from Amy Braun, a high school teacher from Glendale, Arizona:
Aloha from Hawaii. Today we visited the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, which was founded in honor of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the Kamehameha family. The museum houses historical and cultural treasures from the Hawaiian Islands, and granted great insight into the historical roots and unique culture that makes Hawaii what it is today.
In addition, we met as a group to share our final thoughts on how this amazing experience will impact our classrooms. With the insight from our lead historian RIchard Frank, we were able to immerse ourselves in the events of December 7, 1941. This will equip us to educate our students with a variety of primary sources and our firsthand experiences from this trip.
As we prepare to close out our experience in Hawaii, we will bring many lessons about World War II in the Pacific back to our students. However, what happened at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day in December 1941 brought this nation into the war. The Empire of Japan tested the resolve of our great nation, and our citizens responded. The military bases on Hawaii responded to their call of duty and played a pivotal role throughout the war. The lasting lesson from this experience is that men and women throughout our history have sacrificed their lives to protect this nation and protect our freedoms and, for that, we have an obligation as educators to teach about, remember, and honor their sacrifice.
Visit ww2classroom.org to see WWII Summer Teacher Institute curriculum guide content.
Special thanks to the David I. Oreck Foundation and the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation for their generous support of this program.