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Project Director Jean Lewis of ROE 26 speaks at Fall Workshop

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Teachers from around the region attend workshop at WIU on teaching History

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WIU Hosts Workshop for History Teachers

Nov 2, 2008

The WIU History Department and the Hancock/McDonough Regional Office of Education (ROE 26) co-hosted on Saturday, November 1 the first semi-annual Teachers' Workshop to be funded by the third three-year "Teaching American History" grant awarded to them by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Fall Workshop, focused on the history of the American South, included presentations by Dr. Larry Balsamo, WIU Professor Emeritus of History, entitled "The Father of Waters Again Flows Unvexed to the Sea: The Campaign for Vicksburg," and by Dr. Barclay Key, Assistant Professor of History at WIU, on "Violence in the Nonviolent Movement: New Perspectives on the Southern Civil Rights Movement."

The day-long workshop also included presentations by two of the region's history teachers who participated in the travel-study program funded by a previous "Teaching America's History" grant on which the WIU History Department was also invited to participate with ROE 26. Suellyn Rieckelman of Macomb Senior High and Minda Juriga of Washington Gifted in Peoria, gave presentations about how the travel-study trips to Washington, D.C. in 2006 and to San Francisco in 2007 enhanced their teaching of history.

Following a working lunch, workshop participants heard from Dr. Marrietta Castle on "History and Reading: Painless Ways to Connect the Two." The workshop also featured assessment activities conducted by the Project Evaluators, Tom Murray, Chair Emeritus of the Social Studies Department of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illionis, and Ann Pictor, retired Principal Education Consultant in Social Studies for the Illinois State Board of Education.

Approximately 70 secondary school history teachers from the 21-county region of West Central Illinois served by the current grant attended the Saturday workshop. This workshop was the first of two that will set the stage for the grant-funded Summer 2009 travel-study trip to the American South that will include approximately 30 participants and will be led by Dr. Key and Dr. Balsamo. The second workshop will be held in Spring 2009. At the conclusion of each year of the grant, a DVD of teaching strategies and unit plans developed by participating teachers will be provided free of charge to each school in the 21-county region served by the grant.

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