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Ping Institute Projects

The Ping Institute has been involved in a number of projects since it became active during the 1994-95 academic year.

One very exciting project was a joint effort between the Contemporary History Institute and the Ping Institute to create teaching materials to serve high school and college students. Professor Alan Booth of the Ping Institute worked with three doctoral students in history. All three of the students have been high school teachers and have a zeal for the task of developing materials to teach history more effectively. A pilot curriculum module was presented to the National Council for History Education, and this module (the decision to drop the atomic bomb) then was tested with a half dozen groups of high school students and teachers. The curriculum uses actual reports and studies that were in the hands of the decision makers in 1945 and encourages students not just to read about history but to be caught up in making historical decisions.

Another area of activity is directed to high school teachers of humanities. Workshops on the use of computers in the teaching of language, led by Professor Lois Vines, met on campus for one-day sessions in 1996 and 1997 and generated very positive responses from the participants. In the fall of 1998, a workshop on "Perspectives on Antigone" drew enthusiastic reviews from high school teachers of classic literature. And in May 1999, the Ping Institute sponsored a workshop in conjunction with the Ohio University Theater's production of Macbeth.

Professor Thomas Carpenter is involved in the development of a series of five courses dealing with the ancient world. The first course focuses on Athens, Greece; the second on Rome under the Caesars; and the third studies the conflict between paganism and the Church in late antiquity. All three incorporate not only written texts but also archaeological evidence.

The professors and fellows are also involved in an effort to initiate a dialog on teaching and humanities curriculum among Ohio University faculty in the humanities and between University faculty and other teachers of humanities.

Other projects that may be undertaken as funds permit include: library acquisitions in the distinguished teaching professors' areas of interest; revision of humanities curriculum; teaching colloquia devoted specifically to help humanities professors improve the teaching of the humanities; public forums and conferences that bring to campus nationally recognized figures who can contribute to the discussion of the role of humanities at Ohio University, in education, and in public life.

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