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ERIC Number: EJ981601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0889-0293
Hitchcock versus Shaker Chairs: Artifacts to Teach about the Rise and Rejection of Industrialism in the Young Republic
Morris, Ronald Vaughan
International Journal of Social Education, v23 n2 p1-16 Fall-Win 2008
Students in elementary gifted class use discovery to learn about life in industrial New England. Taking multiple days to analyze this topic, students use artifacts (chairs), discussion, and primary sources to explore the politics of the 1830s. They examine the workings of Hitchcockville, Connecticut, and a Massachusetts Shaker colony. Students must use evidence to see the rise of industrialism and the reactions society had to it; the chairs reflect the geography, history, economics, and politics of the Age of Jackson. Students examine a parallel Shaker community that lived and worshipped together--people who rejected the industrial age and attempted to insulate themselves from the problems of the age. During this process gifted students unite in examining two artifacts and make discipline connections demonstrating the interrelatedness of the content. The artifacts or cultural materials are dependent upon student interpretation through critical thinking. This article discusses how artifacts can be used to teach about the rise and rejection of industrialism in the young republic. Gifted students find using artifacts important because it allows them to make connections between physical objects and ideas. They can think about these ideas to make evaluations when they compare two cultures. The reactions of the two groups to the Industrial Revolution give students opportunities to critically examine unrestrained capitalism. (Contains 9 online resources and 12 notes.)
International Journal of Social Education. Ball State University, Department of History, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 765-285-8700; Fax: 765-285-5612; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Massachusetts