The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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A debate of the debate of history

A+debate+of+the+debate+of+history
Cam’ron Hardy

Roughly a dozen members of the community and faculty gathered for a presentation about the history of controversy in history and civics education on Wednesday.

The presentation was given by History Professor Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz and was hosted by The Academy of Lifelong Learning. The event occurred from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 1121 in Buzzard Hall.

The presentation covered a wide range of topics such as history curriculum laws in various states and how past debates regarding history have modern parallels. Laughlin-Schultz discussed recent implementations of Illinois laws that require expanded teachings of LGBTQ+ history and Asian-American history.

The majority of the presentation centered around the debate of historical events in the 19th century. Laughlin-Schultz shined a spotlight on antislavery efforts by black Americans prior to the Civil War, such as the newspaper “The Liberator,” as well as black soldiers’ contributions to the American Revolution.

“Because I think everything that we’re talking about today is deeply rooted there and that if the goal is to fix anything now, we can’t succeed if we don’t actually understand what’s happening, and part of that involves understanding the deep context in the past,” Laughlin-Schultz said.

Laughlin-Schultz stressed that teachers have a tremendous amount of power and that it should be wielded carefully multiple times throughout the presentation. She further elaborated on this segment when giving advice to prospective history teachers.

“I mean. I think there are a lot of teachers who are out there, there’s so much great professional development for teachers and their lack of useful resources and aides to help us do this, right? It’s not just that we want to get out a particular message. It’s that we need to approach all of our troops with great care and make sure we’re using the right strategies and approaches as well as deepening our own content knowledge of history,” Laughlin-Schultz said.

The presentation concluded with a nearly twenty-minute discussion between the audience members and Laughlin-Schultz.

Daniel Douglas, the program coordinator for the Academy of Lifelong Learning, expressed how he watched Laughlin-Schultz give a previous presentation and was captivated by her presentation style. Douglas also expressed how the academy had been trying to host more history events due to an increased interest by the community. Douglas spoke positively about the prospect of a future history event.

He expressed how the program tries to host events that are in demand.

“It seems to be an area of great interest,” Douglas said. “So, at the end of the day, is what the academy seeks to do is bring content to people that they want to learn about, of course, with an educational bend to it.”

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About the Contributors
Jacob Hamm, Reporter
Jacob Hamm is a junior journalism major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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