Visiting History lecturer returns to Arizona
Mr W David Martin

Visiting History lecturer returns to Arizona

19/02/2010

In the first half of the term we welcomed W. David Martin, Chair of History at Phoenix Country Day School, Arizona, as a guest lecturer in the History Department. As he prepares to depart, he reflects on his experiences at Roedean.

'My visit has been wonderful in every respect.  I found the campus to be breathtaking, from the view of the Channel to the stone buildings reflecting the rich history of the school.  Every single member of staff was welcoming and helpful and I would be honoured to have them as my colleagues and friends. 

'The girls were unfailingly polite, interested in the material, respectful of my idiosyncrasies, and willing to grapple with complex material; especially the Lower Sixth girls, who faced formidable doses of military tactics and strategy relating to the American Civil War.

'Meanwhile, it was fascinating to compare alternative perspectives in the national curriculum on, for example, Roosevelt. Typically, UK texts suggest Roosevelt was unaware of Stalin’s actions, whereas US texts would suggest Roosevelt was a pragmatist, with a clear understanding of the limits of his power. I was also intrigued to learn about the national exams that the girls take, and the British university admissions process, which is very different to the US system. 

'Being invited to Roedean certainly ranks among the most exciting professional development opportunities of my long career.  I offer my heartfelt thanks to Mrs. King for inviting me, to Ms. Rae for hosting me, and to Mr. Davis and the entire History Department for their time and gracious hospitality.  It is my fondest wish that an academic exchange between Roedean and Phoenix Country Day continue to evolve in the coming years.'

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