Mar. 13, 2014

‘Teachers Day’ Bringing High School History Teachers to Campus for Scholarly Review


GENESEO, N.Y. – Geneseo’s Department of History is hosting 45 area high school history teachers on campus March 14 to hear Geneseo faculty members review scholarly trends in U.S. and global history and areas covered by the New York State Common Core curriculum.

The event was made possible by a gift from Geneseo alumni Joe and Elaine Bucci, 1967 and 1966 Geneseo alumni, respectively. Both have education in their backgrounds and support higher education as a vital component to the success of the state and nation. The 45 attendees represent school districts in Livingston, Monroe, Genesee, Steuben and Wyoming Counties, and 24 are Geneseo alumni.

“The Buccis have been very strong supporters of the history department’s work over the years and we are grateful that their continued assistance gave us the opportunity to develop the Teachers’ Day program,” said Joe Cope, associate professor and chair of the history department. “This event is part of our department’s long-term effort to build stronger connections to history alumni and area secondary educators and reflects our hope that these educators will see the history department faculty as a resource  to support their work in the classroom.”

Cope also said the event reflects the close working relationship that has emerged the past four years between his department and the Livingston County Historical Society and Museum (LCHS). Cope and Catherine Adams, associate professor of history, serve on the board of the LCHS and a number of talented history undergraduates have provided support to the museum as volunteers and interns.

Among events during the day-long session will be a keynote address from Michael Oberg, professor of history at Geneseo, titled: “Six Things New Yorkers Should Know about the Iroquois but Seldom Are Taught.”

“Iroquois history is not a hidden history,” said Oberg. “The records are abundant and available. Depictions of Native American history that emphasize decline and disappearance (like those taught in New York Schools) are destructive and damaging, and underestimate the creativity demonstrated by Iroquoian peoples in the face of colonization."

Cope will run a Teachers Day workshop on global interconnections in the period 1400-1750. Other faculty members participating will be Justin Behrend, associate professor of history, who will join Adams in running a workshop on the abolition movement in 19th century America, with a specific focus on western New York connections.  In addition, Kathleen Mapes, associate professor of history, played a key role in organizing the conference.

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