Education professor develops nationally recognized lesson
(May 23, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.–Sherri Gibbon's love of teaching American history has always been obvious to her students; now that passion is reaching far beyond the classroom. One of Gibbon's classroom activities is to be included in the educator guide for the upcoming “The War that Made America,” a film developed for PBS.
Gibbon is dedicated to creating an engaging and educational classroom experience. In her activity, students are asked to play the parts in a trial in which George Washington is charged with starting the French and Indian War at the Battle of Great Meadows. The battle marks the only surrender of Washington's career and was the result of an earlier ambush staged by his forces near Uniontown Pennsylvania, what was then part of the disputed Ohio Country. The engagement precipitated a major conflict between the British Empire and the French and their Native American allies.
Students are asked to read primary source documents, conduct their own research, and play the parts of jurors, attorneys, judges and witnesses.
“My goal in the classroom has always been to create experiences that are rigorous,” says Gibbon, “that engage student thinking, that require students to do the work of historians and social scientists, and that require them to react to the content.”
Gibbon, who was a new hire at the Colleges in 2004, is an adjunct professor in the education department. She holds an M.S. in education from Elmira College.
“The War that Made America” is a four-hour documentary and educational project tentatively planned to premiere on PBS in the fall of 2005 in honor of the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War.