Normally in these posts, I usually address various social and political issues that happen to be in the news.
Through advances in technology, the average citizen is able to convey information and viewpoints in a manner not all that different than more formidable journalistic institutions. Not that long ago, this would not have been possible.
Even now, there are those sharing in the mindset expressed in The Cult Of The Amateur that the proliferation of voices taking place today is inherently deleterious to our civilization and should be curtailed for the sake of elites who are to guide the masses in what to think rather than have their actions put in check by the scrutiny of a discerning citizenry. These conflicting outlooks did not pop up overnight but are the result of a process that extends back years, decades, and even centuries.
Often, those that have embraced the new technology have taken it in the direction of providing alternatives to the mainstream press in the forms of blogs, webzines, and podcasts. I have contributed to this movement since the year 2000.
However, recently I have pondered that if blogs and podcasts have enabled those to participate in journalistic undertakings that they would otherwise be locked out of, why can't this technology also be utilized to provide an electronic classroom for those otherwise unable to teach in a more traditional academic setting. Thus as an experiment, in the coming weeks and months ahead, I will attempt to teach a basic introductory course on American History.
Academically, I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History. I also hold a MA in Apologetics and Philosophy in which these subjects were often approached from a historical perspective and a Doctor of Practical Theology in Interdisciplinary studies.
I have primarily written columns on current events and have no teaching or public speaking experience. As such, the manner in which the material is presented may be quite basic and not pass muster with professional historians and college instructors.
But that's OK. From the Jaywalking segments on the Tonight Show, Americans are not struggling with obtuse historical minutiae having little bearing on every day life, but rather with the broad outlines and themes that are essential for the free citizen to have a basic familiarity with if our Republic and our liberties are to survive.
By Frederick Meekins