National History Academy employs the case method of learning, which has been the core pedagogy of Harvard Business School since the early twentieth century. Students will read and discuss five cases from the History of American Democracy curriculum developed by Harvard Business School Professor David Moss. In 2018, Professor Moss personally taught the first case on “James Madison, the Federal Negative, and the Constitutional Convention of 1787” at James Madison’s Montpelier during the first week of the Academy.
The case method is an innovative teaching approach that uses decision-forcing cases to put students in the role of people who were faced with difficult choices in history. In sharp contrast to other teaching methods, the case method requires that instructors refrain from providing their own opinions about the decisions in questions. Rather, the chief task of instructors is asking students to devise and defend solutions to the problems at the heart of each case.
Read David Moss is Rewriting History to learn more about this unique approach to history.
Examining Key Decisions
Photograph by Webb Chappell for Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin