History education conference underway at Flagler College


While students are away celebrating Spring Break, roughly 400 lovers of history — educators, museum staff and the like — have descended on the college for the National Council for History Education’s (NCHE) annual conference. Between March 19 and 21, attendees are hearing from notable speakers, including Cokie Roberts of ABC News.

“The NCHE Conference is a place where those who share a common passion for historical thinking can come together to share and learn from each other,” said John Csepegi, NCHE’s director of conferences and events.

Approximately 400 attendees from over 40 states will have over 70 history education sessions to choose from, as well as the opportunity to explore St. Augustine — with a kayak tour, trips to the Castillo de San Marcos and the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.

Five members of the Flagler community are participating in this year’s conference. History Associate Professor Dr. Michael Butler will lead Friday morning’s breakout session titled “The St. Augustine Civil Rights Database: A Flagler Experiment;” professors Donny Brazile and Mark Huelsbeck will give a presentation titled “U.S. History Through the Lens of Media;” and Events Coordinator Tonya Creamer will present on “The Experience of the Encounter — Case Studies as Observational Evidence for How to Present Historical Moments in Time.” Dr. Leslee Keys, director of historic preservation at Flagler, will be giving tours of the historic Hotel Ponce de Leon.

It is the history of St. Augustine, and its 450th commemoration, that convinced the NCHE to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the Nation’s Oldest City.

“Flagler College was the perfect fit to host the conference with its historical significance and beautiful setting,” Csepegi said.

The conference is welcoming keynote speakers Roberts, as well as Joanne Freeman of Yale University and J. Michael Francis of the University of South Florida.

Csepegi, who has been with NCHE since 2007, said the aim of the annual conference is to connect and learn from colleagues in the field of history education.

“After each conference, we often hear from our attendees about how their batteries have been recharged and about the great resources that they will take back to their students and fellow faculty,” he said. “The conference is a unique setting where teachers from across the country can share ideas and receive world-class professional development opportunities.”

For more information on the conference, visit the NCHE website at http://www.nche.net.


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