Westward Expansion & the American Frontier
Course #: EDUC_716A
Semester Credits: 3
Envision log cabins and wagon trains, cowboys and Indians, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickok, and General Custer. These are the frontier images that pervade our lives from fictional and non-fictional sources. Through this course you enter a time-machine and travel back in time to a period ranging from 1840 until the turn of the century. Once there, you will gain a very candid understanding of the Frontier spirit and lifestyle of the courageous men, women, and children who traveled west in order to fulfill their dreams of a better life, and to claim territory for the United States.
Through the intense and vibrant research of the texts and DVD, this course explores a plethora of information about various pioneers, with special emphasis on Prairie life, the Oregon Trail, and life in the Montana wilderness. In addition, examine and relive the two most enduring stories of the Frontier as told in Chicago 1893, the year of the Columbian Exposition. One is presented by famed historian, Frederick Jackson Turner in his remarkable lecture "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" and the other took place in "Buffalo Bill" Cody's flamboyant extravaganza, "The Wild West." Learn how all of these stories, facts, and insights, are reshaped in the twenty-first century as we rethink our understanding of that time, especially after absorbing the wisdom of Native Americans, Mexicans, and African Americans as they contribute what it means to be an American. Further your frontier knowledge and appreciation as you relive a fascinating five-month project where three twenty-first century families re-create a homestead experience relying solely on the tools and technology available in 1883. Pages of these incredible years of American History will be relived with such vibrancy that you will be anxious to share these memorable moments, emotions, and stories with your students.
a. Obtain a behind the scenes understanding and appreciation of the pioneer lifestyle and spirit from the 1840s until the turn of the century.
b. Absorb a multitude of information about all aspects of daily life on the prairie, Oregon Trail, and Montana wilderness including its many pleasures, pains, and challenges.
c. Relive the incredible wagon train experience as the pioneers traveled West in the hopes of a better life.
d. Learn firsthand the enduring and flamboyant frontier stories as told by "Buffalo Bill" in his 1893 "Wild West Show;" which includes the information and insight about his days as a scout, as well as his thoughts concerning his relationships with Sitting Bull, Custer, and Annie Oakley.
e. Explore the historical research and insight as relayed by nineteenth-century historian Frederick Jackson Turner in his famed 1893 lecture about the significance of the frontier in American History.
f. Learn why both Turner and Buffalo Bill shared the conviction that the frontier was dead by the end of the nineteenth century.
g. Understand why the frontier stories, facts, and insights take on a life of their own in the twenty-first century as Americans reshape their understanding of that time.
h. Obtain an appreciation of what it means to be an American from the wisdom and stories shared by Native Americans, Mexicans, and African Americans.
i. Gain an appreciation for the sensitive nature of various pioneer topics which includes a recommendation about how to communicate them to students.
j. Learn how and why the frontier and pioneer definitions have been evolving for the past fifty years and will continue to do so.
k. Gain insight into why the frontier spirit has had such a longstanding hold on the mind and imaginations of Americans.
This course is applicable towards the following certificate(s):
*Early American History for the Classroom
Visit our Certificates page for more information.
Professional development courses for teachers.
Top Reasons to Enroll Online!
* Easy, self-paced platform
* Freedom to work on your course where Internet is available
* Requires only basic computer skills
* No papers or handouts to accidentally lose
* Receive books and/or DVDs in the mail
* Quicker turn around time for grades
* Online Chat available
* Ability to print coursework for your records at anytime