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Woodstock at 50: The 1960s and the Transformation of American Society (Webinar Series)

Painted Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin shown in front of a crowd at Woodstock
February 5, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:15pm EST
February 7, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:15pm EST
March 14, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:15pm EDT
April 11, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:15pm EDT

During this webinar series participants will analyze the vast political, social, and cultural changes that took place in the United States beginning in the 1950s and lasting through the 1960s. We will discuss the vast divisions that developed in American society during this era, and ways that those divisions continue today. We will analyze how new voices emerged on the political scene during this period, and how and why some "radicals" distanced themselves from any form of politics. We will discuss in detail ways that music and other forms of popular culture reflected the larger changes in American society.

We will also discuss ways that the events of the 1960s still deeply impact our culture and society today; we will discuss ways that messages of the 1960s still deeply influence much of our thinking today. We will discuss, on its 50th anniversary, the significance of the Woodstock Music Festival: what was its significance at the time, and why is the image of "Woodstock" still important to many today?

Tuesday, February 5: Defining the Sixties

The 1960s evoke diverse memories, opinions, and messages from Americans living in the 21st century. Why have the sixties created such diverse sentiments and opposing reactions? Having a working definition for our institute is a valuable starting-off point. This webinar will attempt to define "The Sixties."

Thursday, February 7: Social and Political Movements of the 1950s and 1960s

What were the significant social and political changes that altered America in the 1950s and 1960s? How do these historical events create a climate that produces a cultural event as significant as Woodstock?

Thursday, March 14: Change as Demonstrated Through Popular Culture

How can teachers demonstrate changes in America using popular culture from the 1950s and 1960s (movies, television, art)? This webinar will provide suggestions on how to source material for classroom use.

Thursday, April 11: Change in Music in the Sixties: New Material

Was music in this era an agent of social change or simply a reflection of society as-is? Is Woodstock a "retirement party" for the values of the 1960s.


Stephen Armstrong 
Steve Armstong is the social studies consultant at the Connecticut State Department of Education. He is past president of the National Council for the Social Studies and of Connecticut Council for the Social Studies. Armstrong has given workshops at the local, regional, state and national levels on the intersections between popular music and American history. He has given presentations for teachers at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which is on the site of the original Woodstock Music Festival. Armstrong has taught courses on historical and musical topics at the high school and college levels.

Allison Norrie
Social Studies Teacher
Fairfield Warde High School
Fairfield, CT


Fee: $75 members / $149 nonmembers (Registration for the series is offered at a reduced rate than paying separately.) 

Registration is available for individual webinar sessions apart from the series. Please click on registration to see your various options.