A Manhattan public school teacher will spend his summer creating free videos breaking down the history of the country’s political polarization that educators across the U.S. can use as a tool in their classrooms.
Patrick Sprinkle, a history and government teacher at the NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies in Chelsea, is one of five educators taking part in a C-SPAN Educational Fellowship Program this year between July 5-30.
During the month, Sprinkle will create videos and lesson plans using the cable station’s vast collection of archival footage of U.S. House of Representatives and Senate sessions as well as other federal government hearings.
Sprinkle decided to apply for the fellowship last year “out of a love for C-SPAN” which he was watched since childhood and, of course, his passion for government and longstanding interest in hyper-polarization in American politics.
Through his videos, the 13-year teaching veteran hopes to help students understand that the country’s current political climate is not something caused solely by former President Donald Trump but is instead something that has been “fermenting” for a very long time.
“It didn’t come out of nowhere,” said Sprinkle, who added his videos will begin with examining former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and work their way through to the present day. “I want to help the New York City kids that I teach get how we got here..It’s going to be powerful and profound.”
C-SPAN, in part, chose Sprinkle for the fellowship because roll video has played over the last year and half amid remote learning.
“With the move to virtual and hybrid learning over the past year and a half, our online lessons and digital resources helped bridge the gap for many teachers and students,” said Craig McAndrew, director of C-SPAN Education Relations. “We look forward to working with Patrick as we develop new resources this summer to further support the instructional needs of educators returning to school in the fall.”