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Prof. Woell speaks to history teachers at Spring Workshop

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WIU Hosts Spring Workshop for Region's History Teachers

Mar 8, 2009

The WIU History Department and the Hancock/McDonough Regional Office of Education (ROE 26) co-hosted on Sunday, March 8 the second 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. Thirty-six secondary school history teachers from the 21-county region of West Central Illinois served by the current grant attended the workshop.

The Spring Workshop, focused on the history of Louisiana, featured presentations by two of WIU's History Department faculty members. Dr. Edward Woell, Associate Professor of History, spoke on "The History and Heritage of French Louisiana." Later in the day, Dr. Peter Cole, Associate Professor of History, spoke on "New Orleans: The Most American and Unique of Cities."

The one-day workshop also included a re-enactment of life for a Civil War soldier by Ray Krey, retired principal of Bushnell-Prairie City Junior High School and a former history teacher. Mr. Krey and Dr. Marietta Castle, the Grant's Curriculum Specialist, also spoke to the teachers about the teaching strategies that each teacher is developing based on the workshop presentations.

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.

This workshop was the second of two that set the stage for the grant-funded Summer 2009 travel-study trip to the American South that will include approximately 27 participating teachers and will be led by Dr. Barclay Key, Assistant Professor of History at WIU, and Dr. Larry Balsamo, WIU Professor Emeritus of History, both of whom also attended the Spring Workshop. 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.

Jean Lewis, Project Director for the grant, and Dr. Virginia Boynton, Chair of the WIU History Department, welcomed the participants, who enjoyed a working lunch prior to the start of the presentations.

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