Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative

The Age of Jefferson

Coursera Class Creates Worldwide Audience

Peter Onuf in the classroom

In tribute to Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in public education, the University of Virginia and Monticello are launching their first-ever, collaborative Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The “Age of Jefferson” is open to anyone, anywhere for free and begins on President’s Day, February 17th.

Peter Onuf, a leading scholar of Jefferson and the early American republic, will teach this online six-week course. The course will offer an introduction to Jefferson’s thought, focusing on several key ideas and themes that engaged Jefferson throughout his public career and private life, including the three achievements that Jefferson asked to be listed on his tombstone—his role in writing the Declaration of Independence, in advocating religious freedom, and in advancing the cause of education by founding the University of Virginia.

“We will explore how the American Revolution transformed Jefferson and how Jefferson and his fellow revolutionaries transformed the world,” said Onuf. “After completing the course it should be clear not only why Jefferson’s legacy is essential to understanding American history, but also why UNESCO has designated Jefferson’s Monticello and the University of Virginia as a World Heritage Site.”

“Peter Onuf’s MOOC on the ‘Age of Jefferson’ will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to learn about the complex genius who founded the University of Virginia,” said President Teresa A. Sullivan. “This is a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about Jefferson and his ideas and ideals.”

For more information or to sign up for the “Age of Jefferson,” visit Coursera or iTunes U.

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Amy Yancey
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