About the Institute

The USS Midway Institute is a collaboration and partnership between the USS Midway Museum, the San Diego County Office of Education, and other institutions, and features faculty speakers from prominent universities such as the University of California, San Diego and George Washington University, among others.

Our seminar programs are specifically designed for teachers of history and social studies to learn about the Cold War, the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and World War II in the Pacific, and to incorporate that knowledge, including a variety of perspectives, into their classroom lessons.

Presentations by expert lecturers, university historians, veterans and other individuals who experienced the events of the era, plus field trips to San Diego museums and the immersive atmosphere of the iconic Cold War aircraft carrier USS Midway, combine to create an incomparable and unparalleled professional development experience.

Teacher Programs

Program dates: July 1 – July 13, 2018

This is the signature seminar of the Institute, and the fiftieth anniversary of the extraordinary year of 1968, the approximate mid-point of the Vietnam War. 1968 was among the most cataclysmic and consequential years in American history – the year that witnessed the momentous battle of the Tet Offensive and its effects, tragic assassinations of highly important leaders, and convulsive events in America and around the world.

Throughout this two week program, teachers will gain knowledge, scholarly insights and different perspectives on these extraordinary, crucial and divisive events in post-WWII American history.  Today’s world has been shaped in many ways by the Cold War era and by the outcomes of the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the challenges of our current era are still highly influenced by this history.

During the first week, the focus is on Cold War antecedents, the early Cold War and U.S. leadership, the Korean conflict, understanding the Soviet Union and its allies, the initial stages of the war in Vietnam, and key American domestic events and controversies.

In the second week, the emphasis is on the Vietnam War and recent interpretations, including disputes about the war’s conduct, anti-war protests, presidential authority and decision making, , the dramatic end to the conflict, phenomenal changes in American society during the era, and the conclusion of the Cold War.

Eminent scholars share their insights, viewpoints, and cutting-edge research on the Cold War, Korea and Vietnam, while pedagogical sessions allow teachers to exchange information and develop plans to teach the material presented.  Frequent discussion and interaction among participants and between teachers and Institute faculty is strongly encouraged.

Seminar participants also have the opportunity to explore the sights and attractions of the San Diego area during the July 7-8 weekend, and they receive a special invitation to see the spectacular July 4th harbor fireworks show from the deck of the USS Midway. Participants will also be offered the opportunity to stay overnight aboard the carrier on July 6 at no additional cost while participating in leadership-building activities and eating real “navy chow.”

Participants will:

  • Expand and deepen their content knowledge
  • Discuss new approaches to teaching about the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam
  • Interact with scholars and colleagues, and meet veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars
  • Receive books and other teaching resources
  • Take private, before-hours tours of the USS Midway Museum
  • Receive a $1000 stipend, instructional materials, meals aboard ship, parking, and travel support (for those outside the San Diego region)
  • Earn up to three optional credits from CSU San Marcos

Application deadline is March 4, 2018.

Program dates: June 24 -June 29, 2018

In this one-week program, World War II in the Pacific is examined from several angles.  The Pacific War was a monumental clash of a great many nations and cultures, with significant repercussions and effects that reverberate to the present day, including evolving relationships between the U.S and numerous nations, and the presence of so many varied ethnicities from Pacific nations in America’s classrooms.

Despite its extraordinary impact, the Pacific War is the lesser understood side of World War Two. It is commonly seen as the war between America and Japan.  But it was so much more.  Affecting a large number of countries from 1937-1945, the war’s enduring effects played an extraordinary role in the subsequent history of all nations of the Pacific including America, and this impact continues to markedly influence the current course of events in and outside the region today.

This seminar features top scholars from notable universities sharing their research and points of view on such topics as the strategic conduct of the Pacific War on several fronts; the concept and practice of total war in the Pacific including China, Japan and other nations; pre- and post-war colonialism and its effects; the nature of cultural contrasts between Japan and the U.S.; the impact of the Battle of Midway and other key military and non-military event, including the use of the atom bombs; the domestic transformation of the U.S.; the chaos of the immediate post-war years; controversies in how events of the period are memorialized and remembered; and the conflicts among Pacific nations in the public use of these memories.

These discussions will help teachers gain greater understanding and insight not only on the battles and the course of the war, from South Asia to America’s shores, but also on its long term social, political and economic consequences for public policy, military strategy, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and current multi-national disputes, enabling teachers to bring new knowledge and broader perspective to their classrooms.

Participants will:

  • Expand and deepen their content knowledge
  • Discuss new approaches to teaching about World War II in the Pacific and its key events, the importance and impact of the war’s aftermath and how it’s remembered, and stories from the war’s veterans
  • Interact with scholars and colleagues
  • Receive books and other teaching resources
  • Take private, before-hours tours of the USS Midway Museum
  • Receive a $500 stipend, instructional materials, meals, parking and travel support (for those outside the San Diego area)
  • Earn up to two optional credits from CSU San Marcos

Application deadline is March 4, 2018.

Program dates: June 18 – June 22, 2018

CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ONLY

This program is a professional development seminar designed specifically for California teachers. It emphasizes the Vietnam War and its Cold War connections, with particular attention to the Tet Offensive and its effects, the tumultuous events of 1968, cultural changes of the late 1960s, and the role of California. In line with California state standards and curricula, teachers will gain knowledge, scholarly insights and differing points of view on the extraordinary and often divisive events of the Vietnam War and its relationship with the Cold War. Today’s world has been shaped in many ways by these conflicts, and today’s challenges are still highly influenced by this history – Vietnam and the Cold War still matter to an extraordinary degree fifty years later.

A wide variety of perspectives and topics are presented by historians, military veterans, and others who participated in the extraordinary events of the Vietnam War, the year 1968, and after. Lectures, discussions, and the immersive atmosphere of the iconic Cold War/Vietnam War aircraft carrier USS Midway, combine to create an unparalleled professional development experience. Teachers receive specially designed private tours of the museum before it opens to the public, and pedagogical sessions allow teachers to exchange information and explore the best ways to teach the topics. Frequent interaction between teachers and seminar faculty is strongly encouraged.

Seminar topics include:

  • The Cold War and its connection with Vietnam
  • Background to the war in Vietnam and the deepening U.S. military involvement, the crucial year of 1968
  • Decisions of American presidents and other leaders
  • Key military operations, including the 1968 Tet Offensive and the aftermath
  • The media and the war, with a focus on changes during and after 1968
  • Interpretations of the war, including the recent Ken Burns documentary
  • The experiences of those who fought
  • The anti-war movement and anti-draft protests, at their zenith in 1968 California
  • The USS Midway in the war
  • The dramatic end to the conflict
  • South and North Vietnamese perspectives; cultural changes, including the women’s movement and struggles to expand civil rights; and the enduring impact of the Vietnam War era

Participants will:

  • Expand and deepen their content knowledge
  • Interact with scholars and colleagues
  • Receive books and other teaching resources
  • Receive a $500 stipend
  • Breakfast and lunch aboard the ship
  • Free parking and admission to the USS Midway Museum
  • Travel support (for those outside the San Diego area)

Application period is January 29 – April 6,2018.
CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ONLY

Questions about the Institute’s schedule, academic programs, objectives, and credit arrangements may be sent to Institute Director John F. Burns at jburns@midway.org

Questions about the Institutes application process, deadlines, the San Diego locality and any ship related inquests may be sent to the Midway Institute for Teachers Assistant Director, Rudy Shappee at rshappee@midway.org

The Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History is also holding a one-week summer seminar aboard the USS Midway Museum in partnership with the Midway. Scheduled for July 22-28, 2018, the program is “The Global Cold War” and it places the Soviet-American struggle in broad historical and international contexts with a particular focus on the last years of the Cold War and its legacies. The seminar is led by Cold War scholar Dr. Daniel Sargent from the University of California, Berkeley. For more information click here.

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