Greetings from the new TAS and HCSS program coordinator

Hello everyone,

I would like to use my first blog post here as the new coordinator for the Chicago Teachers as Scholars and History Channel Seminar Series programs to report that my transition into the teacher programs department has been pretty seamless and I’m very  excited to be here. My first Chicago Teachers as Scholars seminar, “Teaching American Indian History and Culture: Challenges and Strategies,” was held in the beginning of this month with Dr. Scott Stevens of the Newberry’s McNickle Center. It was a great success! Dr. Stevens showed teachers the Newberry’s brand new, NEH-funded website, Indians of the Midwest. Upon starting here at the Newberry, I had an image of our seminars being similar to lecture-based college classrooms. However, I found the seminars to be a collaborative learning experience where all participants, Dr. Stevens and myself included, were able to glean powerful insights from the discussion.

December will be a busy and exciting month for us with seminars from NTC, TAS, and the History Channel. The first seminar in our 2011-12 series sponsored by the History Channel takes place on December 9. Dr. Robert Johnston of the University of Illinois-Chicago will lead 34 teachers from all around the Chicagoland area on a journey to discover how dissent affects our democracy.

Dr. Johnston will address current developments like The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street while providing a historical context for dissent in modern American history. We will read recent writing from The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor as well as excerpts from Georgetown University professor Michael Kazin’s brand new book, American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation.

Next up is a great professional development seminar at Roosevelt University:  Fighting Fascism and the Prelude to World War Two: The Spanish Civil War - A Primary Source-Based Workshop on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It takes places on Saturday, December 3, 2011, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. CPDU’s, primary source materials and lunch will be provided.

This seminar is sponsored by the Chicago Metro History Education Center, the Newberry Library’s Professional Development Programs for Teachers, and the History Department of Roosevelt University and promises to shed light on a fascinating period of 20th century American history. It will be led by Mike Batinski, professor emeritus of history at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Peter N. Carroll, author of The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War (Stanford, 1994).

While the Fighting Fascism seminar is full at the moment, there are spots on the wait list open. To be added to the wait list, e-mail or call Lisa Oppenheim at info@chicagohistoryfair.org or (312) 255-3661.

Have a safe and cheerful Thanksgiving holiday!

Mark Hurst
Program Coordinator,
Teachers As Scholars &
History Channel Seminar Series

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