Mason, Schmaltz attend summer teacher's institute

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Mason, Schmaltz attend summer teacher's institute

June 22, 2009

Dr. Aaron Mason, assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Eric Schmaltz, assistant professor of history, represented Northwestern Oklahoma State University during a week long teacher’s institute, “Heartlands at Home and Abroad,” at Cameron University this month.

teacher's institute
While attending the teacher’s institute at Cameron University, Northwestern faculty Dr. Aaron Mason, Dr. Eric Schmaltz and former student Jana Brown had the opportunity to visit the Fort Sill National Landmark, the Museum of the Great Plains and the Comanche Nation Museum. The group of scholars and Oklahoma high school teachers took excursions around the Lawton area and were photographed during their trip to Ft. Sill. Photos provided by Jana Brown.

They presented two topics to scholars and Oklahoma high school teachers during the week. Mason shared information on the topic of Midwestern region of the U.S., specifically the Cherokee Nation. He presented “The Politics of Citizenship in the Cherokee Nation” which dealt with controversies regarding the status of the descendants of the Freedmen within the Cherokee Nation. Schmaltz spoke about “Russian Federation’s ‘Black Earth Region’ and Ukraine,” covering the 18th century to the present. Also attending the institute was spring graduate Jana Brown who will begin her teaching career in the fall.

The institute provides Oklahoma educators working at the high school level with tools to inter-relate and re-conceptualize their teachings of world history, U.S. history, Oklahoma history, economics and geography by exploring the theme of heartlands across six world regions. Themes covered during this institute were the Midwestern region of the U.S.; the wheatlands of Germany and France; the Russian “Black Earth” region and northeast Ukraine; the Pampas in Argentina; the Punjab in Pakistan and India; and northern China.

“With different cultures and agriculture regions, we are able to develop a semblance of order,” Schmaltz said. “These various heartlands are very similar, and we provided these teachers with information they can incorporate into their high school curriculum.”
“We gave the teachers’ lesson plans, reading materials and websites they could refer to,” Mason said. “As we listened to various presentations, we were able to see a similar progression through all the heartlands.”

“This is a great networking experience,” Mason said. “We have established great relationships with Dr. Tony Wohlers, assistant professor of political science, and Dr, Doug Catterall, associate professor of history, among others at Cameron University. This refines our publishing interests, and we appreciate having these great colleagues.”

Later this summer, Schmaltz is scheduled to speak at the Old Sod House Museum near Aline on the topic of Germans from Russia, some of which pulls from his session at the institute.

Mason and Schmaltz both wanted to thank Dr. Kay Decker, department of social sciences chair; Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president; Camille Holt, coordinator of sponsored programs; and senior administration for their support. Holt assisted with grant writing for the project.

This event was funded by the Oklahoma Humanities Council and sponsored by Cameron University. Scholars from Northwestern, Northeastern State University and the University of Oklahoma also participated in this event.