Academy News

National History Academy: Montpelier and James Madison case with HBS Professor Moss

Thursday, June 28, 2018

National History Academy, Day 4

       Today was the big day our program has been leading up to so far. We took our students to Montpelier to see the home of the “father of the constitution,” James Madison. I (along with our tour guide) was impressed with their knowledge of the founding father and the insightful questions they asked along the tour. We stood together for a moment in the reading room, looking out over the sight Madison himself viewed while deliberating on some of his important writings we had just gone over in class the previous day. The tour included visits to the slave quarters and a well-rounded walkthrough of the lives of everyone who had lived on the plantation. Some students were brought to tears as we learned the horrible truths about the lives of Madison’s slaves. Regardless, they very much appreciated seeing the full story; the greatness that was James Madison and the slaves that made it all possible.

Later in the afternoon Professor David Moss from Harvard Business School held a class for our students about Madison’s federal negative, on the grounds of Montpelier. The students were understandably nervous but we have been preparing them for this case the past two days and their fears proved unfounded. They were brilliant. The class flowed wonderfully and at times it felt like half of the students had their hands raised at once, eager to participate in the discussion. They answered all of his questions and brought up great points of their own. I think I speak for everyone when I say how proud I am of our students and I can’t wait to get back in the classroom to continue on with our journey through US history.

Katie Smolar

Master Teacher