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UW-Eau Claire to Host Systemwide Conference on History Education

RELEASED: Nov. 5, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the second UW Systemwide conference on history education from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 7 in Davies Center.

The conference will bring together faculty from colleges of education and departments of history to discuss ways to improve history education, whether by reaching out to in-service teachers or by training pre-service teachers more effectively.

Dr. John Mann, UW-Eau Claire associate professor of history, said the conference grew out of conversations among various directors of and participants in the U.S. Department of Education's Teaching American History grant programs across the state of Wisconsin.

Dr. Leon Fink
Dr. Leon Fink

Dr. Leon Fink, distinguished professor of history at the University of Illinois, Chicago, will be the keynote speaker. His talk is titled "Re-Interpretation, or the Wizardry of Teaching American History." He will use the art of documentary analysis to explore the tensions within American political culture through a re-examination of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

Fink's address is free and open to the public. It will be at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center.

A leader in national history education circles, Fink has stressed the need for collaboration between universities and public schools. He received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue research on the Shipping News project, a maritime perspective on American history.

Conference sessions will focus on teaching at all levels, non-teaching career options, and creating a statewide consortium to increase collaboration among historians, educators, museums and other public history institutions.

Conference sponsors include a Wisconsin Office of Professional and Instructional Development Conference Development Grant; UW-Eau Claire's history department, College of Arts and Sciences and teacher education program within the College of Education and Human Sciences; UW-Whitewater's history department, College of Letters and Sciences and College of Education; the UW-Green Bay history department; UW-River Falls history department, UW-Milwaukee School of Education, CESA 6 Wisconsin Academy for the Study of American History, the U.S. Department of Education's Teaching American History grant program, CESA 10 Making Americans, and Making America TAH.

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NW/JB

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