Registration Open for OAH-Newberry Library Midwest Teaching Lab: Teaching Native Histories

September 17, 2023


The Newberry Library, Chicago

Friday, November 10, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST)
Saturday, November 11, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST)


The Organization of American Historians (OAH) and the Newberry Library are pleased to invite high school social studies and US history teachers to a 1.5 day professional development workshop focused on Native and Indigenous history. The program will be facilitated by Dr. Meredith McCoy, Assistant Professor in American Studies and History at Carleton College (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe descent), and a former secondary education teacher.  

The Teaching Native Histories Midwest Teaching Lab offers educators the time and space to be learners first by offering interactive sessions on the discipline of Native history as a whole, with a focus on the history of Native education and boarding schools. The program then shifts to helping teachers translate what they learned into effective classroom practice. Participants will work through the particular challenges of teaching Native histories and will develop a self-learning plan for continued growth. 

Teaching Native Histories will also experiment with a new model of educator collaboration in which K-12 and higher ed teachers learn from one another in order to build a bridge between these different learning environments. Currently, there are few opportunities for K-12 teachers and history professors to engage. Students move from “social studies” to “history” in their K-16 educational journey, but teachers at these varied levels remain siloed. How can conversations across the K-16 continuum help us address our common pedagogical challenges? The program will include a K-16 panel, “From Social Studies to History,” featuring Ms. Erica Ferguson (Department of Social Studies, Chicago Public Schools), Ms. Jane Lennon (APUSH, St. Ignatius College Prep), and Dr. Matt Villeneuve (History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa). The panel will be moderated by Dr. Laura McEnaney (Vice President of Research & Education, Newberry Library). 

Finally, the Teaching Native Histories Midwest Teaching Lab will provide an opportunity for teachers to stay connected after its conclusion. Teachers will be able to develop a new professional network: a community of practice that enables professional collaboration to continue across the K-16 continuum.

Participants will receive complimentary coffee/tea, breakfast, and lunch on both days, and the first day will conclude with a reception in the historic lobby of the Newberry Library. Teachers certified in Illinois are eligible to receive 8 CPDUs (Continuing Professional Development Units) for their full participation. Partial credits will not be awarded.

About the Conveners

Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the largest professional society dedicated to the teaching and study of American history, guided by the principles of advocacy, professional integrity, and advancement of scholarship. An international non-profit membership organization, the OAH represents more than 6,000 historians, who are college and university professors, precollegiate teachers, archivists, museum curators, public historians, students, and professional historians working in a variety of institutional settings including national parks and historical societies. The OAH’s mission is to promote excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, and to encourage wide discussion of historical questions and the equitable treatment of all practitioners of history. 

The Newberry is among Chicago’s oldest and most distinctive cultural institutions, with a remarkably diverse archival collection of books, maps, manuscripts, and other materials that span more than six centuries of human experience. It is a hub for researchers in the United States and around the world, who come to the Newberry to create and disseminate new knowledge. Founded in 1887, the Newberry collection now extends across 27.5 miles of shelving in the library stacks–and it’s still growing. This world-renowned research library, free and open to the public, acquires and preserves materials that represent a range of perspectives and experiences–including those that historically have been marginalized, misrepresented, or silenced.