This book provides over one hundred vignettes from ten different presidents, with each story providing a compact lesson promoting educational and professional growth. Each chapter covers a different president and begins with a brief biographical sketch that introduces the featured president. Every page provides a self-contained lesson that includes a presidential anecdote, an application for the classroom, and a discussion question. Each chapter concludes with a debriefing exercise to promote further thought, discussion, and application. Administrators, mentors, or teachers can use the book for daily professional development or as part of an in-service program.
Mark Hoduski is an award-winning US history and civics teacher and director of teacher development with over three decades of teaching experience. His background includes extensive public speaking, serving as an interpretive historian at the Truman home, pioneering the Democracy Foundation Institute, and leading history focused student tours in Washington, D.C., Valley Forge, and Gettysburg.
Chapter 1: George Washington
Chapter 2: John Adams
Chapter 3: Thomas Jefferson
Chapter 4: Abraham Lincoln
Chapter 5: Theodore Roosevelt
Chapter 6: Herbert Hoover
Chapter 7: Franklin Roosevelt
Chapter 8: Harry S. Truman
Chapter 9: Dwight Eisenhower
Chapter 10: Ronald Reagan
Mark Hoduski has done something deeply needed in education. He has managed to create a resource that uses American history to engage questions of character and pedagogy intended to create not only better and valuable teaching and classroom experiences, but also to convey lessons about citizenship. His work helps to reinforce and rebuild what Edmund Burke termed “the little platoons of everyday life” meaning that a necessary character and sense of civility are needed to undergird a healthy democracy if it is to thrive. Hoduski gives teachers and their students a pathway to begin their journey towards an active sense of citizenship.
I agreed to read and comment on a book by an academic scholar and educational colleague, not realizing what a treasure trove of educational insight could be packed into one book. As an educational professor, I appreciate the clear wisdom clothed in presidential anecdotes from their leadership experiences. I applaud the mixing of presidential history with day-to-day educational issues that teachers face. This is a must-read book for educational teacher preparation courses.
I taught English in the traditional public high school classroom for sixteen years and would have benefited greatly at any stage of teaching — novice or experienced — from the thought and discussion Mr. Hoduski’s book prompts. Presidential Wisdom offers rich bite-sized lessons in leadership and character for classroom teachers to use in their own professional development. Each lesson is uniquely presented through the context of anecdotes from ten U.S. Presidents and offers wonderful questions to spark thought and discussion that will improve their effectiveness as a teacher and faculty member.
With fascinating presidential anecdotes and insights Hoduski takes a unique approach to utilizing the wisdom of some of our greatest leaders and applies it to today’s teachers and students. He challenges teachers to examine themselves and provides advice for them to draw out the best in their students, as well. Teachers will glean valuable information and practical advice to improve their approach to high quality, effective instruction.