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Teacher Resources

Teaching at the Governor's Honors Academy is one of the most demanding but delightful,  exhausting but exhilarating, strenuous but stupendous, and   overall WOW experiences you could ever imagine.  Read below to see how you can join the crusade to make the life of 180 of West Virginia's most motivated and productive students an intellectual oasis that will spread into the 55 county school systems.

Employment Details for GHA 2017 at West Virginia University

1. The Academy dates are July 2-22, 2017. Employment will begin Saturday, July 1,  and end Saturday, July 22. Faculty members and staff are required to be on campus July 1.

2. There will be an orientation workshop in early spring.

3. All applicants are required to submit and pass a background check prior to the beginning of the academy. Payment is the responsibility of the applicant.

4. Most of the Faculty will live in the residence hall. Faculty with local housing may elect to stay at home provided they fulfill all Academy duties.

5. Faculty salary is $5,500. Meals and lodging are provided. Travel is not included and will not be reimbursed.

6. All faculty are required to teach two courses each class day. Courses will be limited to 14 students each, with a minimum of 12 students. The two courses are 1) an Intensive Course that addresses a Governor’s Honors Academy student’s greatest academic strengths and interests and 2) a Broad-Based Course intended to expand a student’s knowledge base in areas that are not necessarily viewed as the individual’s strengths or primary areas of interest. Both courses shall include a multi-disciplinary approach to instruction as well as a brief discussion of how the Academy’s theme would be addressed.

As with previous academies, there will be an organizing theme for the Academy in 2017, and we have found success with the idea of using historical themes to anchor the Academy. Thus for the first year we will use the period of early nationhood, loosely defined as between 1776 and 1865, which begins with the Declaration of Independence and ends with the end of the Civil War in the United States, overlaps with a period of social and political re-organization in Europe (including the French Revolution), and encompasses a period of global colonialism, philosophical investigation, and scientific and technological advancement. This period will provide the underlying theme for the academic program and the activities associated with the Academy.

Academically this is a fascinating period; in the sciences, Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry put together the first extensive list of elements, early concepts of evolution were being advanced by Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Louis Pasteur began his pioneering work in immunology, and Ada Lovelace invented the difference engine, the precursor to the modern computer. In Britain, the establishment of the Royal Institution in 1799 brought together the best scientific minds of Europe to apply science to better human lives.  In mathematics, the period saw the development of non-Euclidean geometry and abstract algebra, while in engineering we see Ben Franklin’s discovery of electricity, the development of the first steam engine, and the rise of a range of engineering specializations.

In the social sciences we see the rise of journalism entrenched in the first amendment, the flourishing of the industrial revolution, and the political philosophies of the first experiments in democracy in the United States and (less successfully) in France.  Events in US history include the conflict over and ending of slavery, and a period of grave oppression of Native Americans. European nations moved to colonize Africa and South Asia, while Japan spent much of the period in enforced isolation from the west, ending with Admiral Matthew Perry’s naval mission to pry open trade, while in China, the Qing dynasty ceded the title of the largest empire in the world to England.

In the Western arts, this was a period that moved from the stylistic refinement and sophistication of the Neo-classical moment, to the turbulence and sturm-und-drang of the Romantic period. Ludwig von Beethoven dominated classical music. Theatre was dominated by the sentimental melodrama, and literature witnessed the rise of the novel as a dominant form, while in the US. a national literature was developing, often around the relationship of its writers to the rugged American landscape.

This period will also deeply inform our trip to Washington DC, which was founded and built in this period, and provides a wonderful venue to explore historical themes relevant to the earliest period in our nation’s history. Meanwhile, significant historical locations between Pittsburgh and Morgantown such as Fort Necessity will add texture to our discussions.

We hope the central organizing theme will bring together both the academic cultural and social aspects of the academies making them an educational and highly enjoyable experience for all the students attending.

Does this mean that your courses will be bound within the late 18th-late 19th Centuries? 

  • No, it does not.  The theme is to be embedded but not necessarily over-arching. The following samples may make the intent clearer.
    When developing a modern math course, for example, you could look at specifically and deeply at concepts that were being developed in this period, or perhaps simply talk about the thought process of mathematicians as they worked through problems without the aid of computers, theories, means of measurement, or discoveries that have changed terminology and thinking patterns.
  • Scientific thinking took huge leaps in the 19th Century. They were disciplined and discrete, precisely institutionalized and widely instructive (Livingstone and Withers). In the science class you propose, you could focus on the birth of the discipline, or just as easily could build in modes of inquiries based on solving contemporary problems without the work of these earlier scientists. Asking student to consider differences in scientific knowledge and methods across time might help students describe today’s science.

In a social sciences class, one might compare the current “scientifically enlightened” populace to that of the general population of the 19th C when discussing the rise of secularism in the world.


For more specific information, see the Teacher Application.

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