An annual collaboration between the Illinois State University Department of History, the Regional Office of Education 17, and the McLean County Museum of History will make its virtual debut in 2021.

headshot of Dr. Gholdy Muhammad
Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

The 2021 online symposium, “Do You Read Me? Equity, Identity, and Literacy in the Social Studies Classroom,” is open to all Illinois elementary, middle, and secondary level history – social science educators, community educators, pre-service and student teachers, and high school students. There is no cost, but participants must register by January 31, 2021. Registration is now open.

This year’s keynote will be delivered by Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. One of the new innovations for this year’s symposium is a virtual book club that allows discussion with fellow teachers and facilitators. Register for the book club here.

For many years, the History–Social Sciences Teacher Symposium has offered teachers unique opportunities to develop their own expertise and share that knowledge with their students. “I have always admired and respected the Department of History’s commitment to encouraging lifelong opportunities for education,” said Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Diane Zosky. “I am especially excited to see how they have transitioned their annual symposium to a virtual experience that will allow teachers and their students to participate in unique ways of expanding their professional horizons.”

“The Department of History is proud to be the largest producer of history–social sciences teachers in the state and one of the largest in the country,” said Chair of the Department of History Ross Kennedy. “Dr. Monica Noraian and Professor Sara Piotrowski deserve our thanks for the time and energy they consistently devote to this event.”

Another new development of the symposium is the development of a strand specifically for high school students and their teachers. “One of our goals,” said Dr. Noraian,” is to make a difference in how history is taught, interpreted, and learned.” The 2021 symposium will surely be a major step toward reaching that goal.