US History Lecture Series

November 2011
Maine East- Social Sciences - Mr. Chris Peters
Foundation Award: $500

As part of a history enrichment program, Maine East will begin a lecture series of approximately four sessions this academic year that will offer students the opportunity to hear from an expert in a specific field of U.S. History. We plan to have college professors speak at Maine East High School and share their expertise with the students. Each session would be held after school for about an hour and allow students to further explore a topic in U.S. History, thus giving them a greater understanding and 
appreciation for history. These sessions are open to all Maine Township students, although primarily from Maine East High School and further enrich their high school experience, as well as prepare them for college. 
We have several professors in the greater Chicago area including, Professor Robert Johnston, Director of Teaching of History Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago who presented on the Progressives. Professor Jeffrey Sklansky from UIC presented on the Populists in the late 1800's and the question of progress and poverty. 

Student Comments of Professor Lectures:
“I attended two out of the three lectures and honestly, they were helpful and very educational!  I was able to understand the professors and actually connect it to our class own class lectures; in addition, I was able to learn different perspectives of real college professors and their thoughts on the Progressive Era and Feminism during both Red Scares. Most importantly, I was able gain experience by sitting in a "college lecture" full of many students. These lectures helped me understand how college is going to be like, and as high school students, it is vital to get the feel of the college environment. Overall, we should continue to do these lectures from college professors next year so that students can expand the knowledge even further; instead of learning from the book and the high school teacher only, these lectures provide students with an opportunity to learn about U.S. History from college professors!” - Jay

“I enjoyed attending the professor lectures and thought the one that I attended enhanced my knowledge of U.S. History. By attending Professor Johnston's lecture, my views on the Progressive movement were broadened and I gained a sense of the impact that some of the progressive reforms continue to carry today. Attending these lectures not only deepened my appreciation for U.S. History, but they also provided insight that I can use when I write essays on these topics. I think the lectures done by the professors will aid me in college and provide me insight on how to think on a deeper spectrum.” - Dustin

“I attended all three of the lectures and I feel that I have gained quite a lot of insight from the professors. They presented detailed information of various movements such as the Progressive Era, Gilded Age, and the age of Feminism. I enjoyed having several different speakers and being able to see different styles of presentation. Not only that, but I liked how in all of the presentations, the speakers closed off by raising an open-ended question and leaving the debate up to us. This has helped sharpen our critical thinking skills.” - Brandon

“I thought the after school events were great. I went to the first and third "professor" events. I really liked listening to what the professors had to say since they elaborated upon what we learned in class and they provided us with outside sources other than our textbooks. This helped me understand what others thought about the topic we were learning and helped me review for the AP exam. I liked how Professor Nickerson talked about the history of the women's movement and then talked about the source she had provided us to read. This gave us background info, review, and also some new material. I really liked going to these things after school and I think you should keep doing this next year! :)” - Jill

“I thought the lectures by the professors were very valuable. They gave me an insight on the topics that were discussed from a different teacher’s point of view. Not only did the discussions help me understand the topic in more detail but also gave me a feel of how it would be to sit in a college class and listen to a real college professor talk. The professor’s were pretty interesting; it was cool to see how someone could be so into just one specific topic about history.” - Afra 

“I really enjoyed having college professors present lectures on relevant info in U.S. History. I saw how a lecture would be given in a real life college class and feel like I am more comfortable being in a college environment after all 3 lectures I attended. Also, lots of information was reinforced by focusing just on the specific topic and I added to my learning as well with the questions that were answered. Having the professors come in and speak to us was really an enjoyable experience because they actually engaged the student body and genuinely spoke of relevant info that will help us gain a wider spectrum of knowledge when it comes to U.S. History.” - Harshit 

“The two professors that came to speak to us from UIC and Loyola University was a nice learning experience. Not only did I further my knowledge and understanding on topics such as women and the poor, but I was also able to learn what it was like to sit in a classroom where a college professor taught. The atmosphere was one like I’d expect it to be like in some of my college classes; there were a larger number of students in the room and one professor speaking before us. Although there may be a lot of students in the class, maintaining focus on what the professor is saying is crucial. Going to see the professors speak was a little preview in my mind to what the future holds for me in college.  All in all, the experience was good for me and will help me prepare for college.” – Kevin

“I really enjoyed listening to all the speakers that came in. My favorite was the last speaker, who was a feminist. She discussed the role of women and the steps they took toward equal rights during the Cold War era. The reading she had us look over was very interesting, and it gave me a different perspective on the subject. All of the speakers actually gave me a different perspective on different themes in history, by zooming in on the different aspects of each particular idea. It helped bring history down to a realistic level that I could understand and even relate to.” – Krupa

“I really enjoyed all the professors that came out. I feel like I got a taste for how college lectures go and I also learned something new. I really liked the fact that every professor had their own thing that they talked about and that they talked about more recent things and they related it back to today and modern politics. I feel like the last lecture was one of the most interesting one's because we rarely talk about women in history and how they impacted it.” – Natalie

“I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed all the presentations that the professors made. All the speakers were great in their own way, but I really liked the last two presentations the most. I felt as though the last two presentations were more enjoyable because they were a lot more focused on one topic rather than multiple topics. Overall, I believe that the presentations did help me get a better understanding for certain topics in history.” – Leena

“I really like going to listen to the professors. It is nice to spend time on certain specific topics. I like to hear different opinions and generally when something gets taught over and over again it sticks
with you. This last professor was very insightful I liked the topic discussed and felt that she had good ideas and kept the audience active. It is good when people have questions or argue because that means they care and want to voice opinions they may have. These experiences have been very helpful and I hope we have more professors come in because they really help us brush up on some topics coming up on the AP Exam.” – Emily

“I really enjoyed both the presentations that I went to. I went to the first one and the third one, both or them requiring that we need to read a passage before attending. I found this experience a lot like college because before class starts we need to read material in order to understand what the presenter is talking about. This also prepares us for college because we will have much longer classes and these presentations were about an hour to an hour and a half. I really enjoyed them and they also helped me understand other history topics such as women's rights and the progressive era.” - Sade

“After going to each of the college professors lecture I really got a feel of what a lecture in college is like. These professors were very dedicated to their topic and cleared my past confusions on the topics that were discussed. I feel that by having had this opportunity, I have learned about the greater importance of our history. These educational lectures were a great way to expose us to the way college courses are taught. For the last one, the professor used present day ideas to relate to history and made the lecture quite interesting.”  - Aarti

“I thought that the professors that came to lecture were very interesting, and overall it was a good experience. The extra information they talked about could be useful as background knowledge for the AP exam for DBQs or FRQs. I went to all three professors but I especially liked the lecture about conservative women because I found the topic to be very interesting. If there are more opportunities for professors to come I would be interested.” - Caroline