Professional Development Programs 2014-2015 PDF Print E-mail

CMHEC offers professional development opportunities to support teachers offering historical inquiry projects--particularly History Fair. Check out the listings below for our 2014-2015 workshops, seminars, and institutes.

Unless otherwise noted, sessions are free to History Fair Partner schools.

2015 Professional Development Programs

gape 2013


National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute: "Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Capitalism, Democracy, and Progressivisms, 1877 to 1920"

University of Illinois at Chicago, July 5-31, 2015

Chicago's rich Progressive Era history will be highlighted through the program's readings, discussions, lectures, inquiries, and explorations of historical and cultural resources. Participants will explore Hull House, take bus tours featuring significant sites in the city's labor history, investigate archival collections, and examine the impact of place through architecture. During the four-week institute, teachers will contemplate and debate how individuals and groups defined, reformed, and contributed to a vision for American democracy, opportunity, and culture. Robert Johnston (UIC), Charles Tocci (Loyola University Chicago), Rachel Allmen (CMHEC), and Michael Biondo (Maine South High School) will lead the institute.

The application deadline is March 2, 2015. K-12 teachers in all disciplines, graduate students pursuing teacher certification, and educators in non-classroom settings (such as museums and archives that serve students and teachers) are eligible to apply.

Contact if you have questions about eligibility or the application process. You can also find more information at

This program can only accept a limited number of participants from the Chicago area, but please share this information with teachers in other parts of the country who might be interested.


Coming Summer 2015

For History Fair veterans who are looking to improve their program!

Stayed tuned for more information. . .




Previous 2014-2015 Workshops -- Sorry you missed them!

"Leadership & Legacy" Topics and Research Workshops

Explore this year's theme by attending these three topic/research-based sessions at local special collections. You'll gain content knowledge, insights, research tools, and primary sources to share with your students. These primary source workshops benefit novice and experienced researcher alike and provide the opportunity to build or augment critical skills related to CCSS.

Register for individual sessions of interest or take all three to earn 15 hours of credit towards a Lane Credit semester hour and a CMHEC Certificate in History Research.

cps ss workshop

Let's Make a Label: Building Better History Fair Exhibits

Presented by the CPS Department of Social Science Instruction, featuring CMHEC's Lisa Oppenheim

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm at the Newberry Library (60 W. Walton)

Calling all middle and high school social science teachers! Come see how you can teach your students to build a superior History Fair exhibit. The activity focuses on the process of analyzing and synthesizing sources and writing claims based on evidence. Participants also will review and critique a variety of History Fair exhibits based on content and design principles.

Email to RSVP.

uic archives workshopLeadership and Politics in the Daley Era: From the Machine to Community Organizing

Tuesday, January 13, 4:30pm to 7pm at the Special Collections Library in the UIC Library, 801 S. Morgan, third floor

The 1960s: a volatile time in Daley Era Chicago. While machine politics continued unabated, the traditional political landscape grew more complex, and the non-electoral political sphere flourished among community, women's and African-American's organizations. Get a close look at some of the materials saved by politicians and elected officials of the era and also explore the groups and leaders that were determined to be heard and pushed for change during the same time.

To register, click the title of the program.  Contact CMHEC for information about registering at cpsuniversity for the Lane Credit hour.

hwl day

Research Day at the Harold Washington Library for Teachers & Students

Saturday, December 6, 2014 — 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Harold Washington Library Center, at Congress and State Streets. Meet in the Authors Room, 7th Floor.

Teachers and students learn how to take advantage of doing research at the HWLC by discovering less-used databases, engaging in primary source work in the Special Collections, and touring the library to find out how the library is organized and what sources and services exist.  Led by the CPL librarians, students will learn by doing as they research their own particular topics with the direct help of the librarians and research mentors. Spaces limited, register asap.

harsh ankobia

A "Leadership & Legacy" Topics Workshops

Grassroots Leadership in the African-American Community: A Conversation Among Elder Activists

Saturday, November 8, 1-4pm at the Woodson Regional Library, 95th and Halsted (free parking)

The event features a conversation among activists involved in the struggle since CIO organizing to the school boycotts and Willis Wagons, to the election of Harold Washington---and everything in between. Dr. Aldon Morris of Northwestern University (author of The Origins of the Civil Rights Movements) will moderate a discussion among elder activists in the African-American community about past and current issues. The elders, who call themselves the Ankobia-Project are Bennett Johnson, Rosie Simpson, Clarice Durham, John Adams, Brenetta Howell Barrett and Lorne Love)—many who don’t have the “public face” but are the leaders that made the movement move!  Following these informal oral histories, students and teachers will spend a brief time reviewing key primary sources in the Harsh Collection which include the elders' own papers. No space limitation for students.

wla workshop 2015

A "Leadership & Legacy" Topics Workshops

Women's Ways of Leadership and Activism

Saturday, October 25, 9:30am-12 noon at Loyola University, in the Women & Leadership Archives located in Piper Hall, 1032 W. Sheridan (Rogers Park campus).

In addition to feminist politics, women in the 1960s-80s addressed such issues as homelessness, environmentalism, civil rights, domestic violence, consumer rights, and anti-intervention in Central America.  Learn about women’s activism history from professor Emily L.B.Twarog Miller and by digging into some of the rich collections of the WLA. Develop a relationship with the WLA and  your school for current and future History Fairs. Director Nancy Freeman will share insights to sources on rarely used women’s history topics that will inspire your students to deeper research, inspired arguments, and memorable projects. Preview the list of current topics. At the workshop, we will explore some, but not all collections described.

bootcamp 2015

History Fair Boot Camps: One-day intensive workshops, 9-3 pm, at the Newberry Library. Six cpdu's, free materials. BYOL.


Thursday, August 7
Tuesday, August 26
Saturday, September 20
Saturday, October 11
Friday, November 7
Thursday, November 20

kickoff 2015History Fair Teachers Kickoff & Reception

Tuesday, October 14, 4pm to 6pm at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, Chicago 60610

Meet the new theme with Dr. Dominic Pacyga: "Leadership and Legacy in [Chicago/Illinois] History"

Learn about new re/sources--online and in person. Get stuff.

Food and drinks.





"Visual Arts of the Black Arts Movement"

A Summer Institute offered by CMHEC and the Terra Foundation

July 21-25, 2014

Black artists, writers, dancers and performers created powerful, positive images of black culture and identity through various media in the wake of the civil rights movement and dawn of the Black Nationalist movement.  The Visual Arts of the Black Arts Movement (VABAM) will focus on integrating the arts into the classroom to promote visual literacy, critical thinking, and historical understanding of civil rights and the Black Power period. [Art: "Rise and Take Control," silkscreen, 1971, by Barbara Jones-Hogu, used with permission.]

Applications now closed.


pd archive

History Fair Methods: A Lane Credit Course

Tuesday and Wednesday, July 8-9 from 9am until 5pm

-Earn 1 semester hour for Lane Credit

-Learn all aspects of the History Fair: engage in learning by doing

-Visit key institutions that will be crucial for your students’ History Fair experience
-Understand how to structure HF benchmarks to keep your students on task
-Engage in key readings associated with historical inquiry
-Align History Fair to Common Core and CPS Teachers Framework (or your district’s p.d. requirements)
-Leave with the confidence to start History Fair at your school.

For Lane Credit, CPS teachers must register at cpsuniversity Course #18569.  For all teachers not seeking Lane Credit register directly.  For more information, contact Lisa Oppenheim at Spaces are limited!


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