Elaina Rampolla, U.S. History and Government teacher at Ridgefield High School, has been awarded an all-expense trip to Harvard Business School to participate in a professional development workshop focusing on “making civics, government and history come alive for students”.

The Harvard Case Method Project of teaching history will be held Aug. 18-20 in Cambridge, Mass. and is a collaboration between the League of Women Voters and Harvard Business School.

Rampolla was nominated by the Ridgefield chapter of League of Women Voters for this program. She submitted an application and essay and then as a final step, had a telephone interview with the Harvard Case Method Project Team before being accepted for the workshop. Rampolla will participate alongside 80 teachers from 21 different states nominated by 50 League of Women Voters chapters from every region of the country.

Asked why she was interested in applying for this workshop grant, Rampolla noted that “the amount of history we have to teach sometimes can cloud the opportunity we have as educators to remind students that change happens with the individual.”

In the upcoming workshop, case studies from Harvard Business School Professor David Moss’s recent book: “Democracy: A Case Study” will be studied and teachers agree to teach four of the cases from Professor Moss’s book in their classrooms and help moderate a community case discussion with the league.

The workshop teaches educators how to use real case studies of incidents in history to engage students and produce an increased interest in voting, political engagement and constructive debate. Case studies are very open-ended without right or wrong answers, which is deemed an ideal challenge for students.