Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blogging the OAH Day 1

"Welcome to the Silicon Valley," said the bartender when I told him I had never used a wireless network in a bar before. (The Cosmopolitan is great BTW). Gary Nash ("the man" behind the "national history standards") just left.

Started this morning meeting Cary for breakfast and discussing our afternoon session. Met with Bob to do the same a bit later. The three teachers (who accompanied me courtesy of a TAH grant) and I met with Paula for lunch to discuss her coming to Kansas to work with them in July 2006. The meeting with great and there were some great conversations - especially since Paula, too, has at least dipped her foot in the well of K-12 education. We might make a trip to Hallmark courtesy of her friend that works there and tie it back into cultural history. We'll then do some work on the 1950s, 1960s and music, and September 11 and also go to the Alf Landon House. We'll also get more input from the other grant teachers but this was a great way to get some one-on-one input between a guest historian and the teachers and have them devise a plan together (versus the traditional "ivory tower knows all" approach).

In passing, teachers were also to meet a speaker for the other TAH grant (these 3 happen to be in both) so that they will know more of what to expect in June. Their other speaker is here, too, and maybe they will get a chance to meet him later. I told them to keep a sharp eye out for name tags to find some interesting folks. They're reading Sam Wineburg's book on historical cognition and he's doing a session Saturday morning.

Our session, "Historians at the Public Gate: Successes and Challenges in Addressing State History Standards for Teachers and Students" went extremely well. We had at least 25 in the audience, which is especially good given it is the first time slot for the conference. The only mild disappointment was that only 4 of those were post-secondary historians. We had some great discussions and we encouraged audience members to continue the discussion and propose similar sessions at future professional meetings. Several diverse groups involved in TAH grants were there. Plus some great follow-up discussions.

It appears that History News Network will also be blogging about the conference.

Then there was a good session on the state of Middle Eastern affairs since WWII and the perception of the US by Middle Eastern nations. Does it surprise you that the nation with the most favorable view is Iran????

Off to the regional receptions and then dinner . . .


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