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Contemporary and historic issues are focus of Great Lakes History Conference

  • William Reese and Edward St. John will speak at GLHC in October

Posted on September 27, 2011

The proliferation of educational testing and the crisis in funding for higher education are just two of the hot issues to be addressed at the 37th annual Great Lakes History Conference at Grand Valley State University. This year 25 panels will be presented by local historians, area academics and national experts, under the theme of “Education and Society.”

The conference, October 7-8, will be held at the L.V. Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton, on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus. All events are open to the public; the full schedule and registration are at An RSVP is required to attend the Saturday luncheon.

The conference provides an opportunity for a wide range of audiences to hear about many aspects of history, from the collegiate life of women from 1870-1900 to preserving historic battlefields.

Edward St. John from University of Michigan will present “The College Financial Crisis: Finding Historical Perspective,” during a plenary panel on Friday, October 7, at 1 p.m. St. John is concerned with education for a just society, an interest that stems from three decades of research on educational policy. St. John serves as series co-editor for Readings on Equal Education, an annual volume of policy research focusing on initiatives seeking to reduce inequalities in, while improving quality of, educational opportunities in K-12 and higher education. He also co-edits Core Issues in Higher Education, topical texts for professors and graduate students with an interest in the field. He directs the initiative Promoting Equity in Urban and Higher Education, funded by the Ford Foundation, at the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. St. John is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of awards from other associations for this scholarship.

William Reese, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the keynote speaker during the luncheon Saturday, October 8, at 12:30 p.m.  He is an expert in the history of American education, including the history of high schools, reform movements, progressive education and testing. A member of the National Academy of Education and an American Educational Research Association Fellow, Reese is also the author of America’s Public Schools: From the Common School to ‘No Child Left Behind’, among other books.

For more information about the Great Lakes History Conference, contact Paul Murphy or Doug Montagna in the GVSU Department of History at (616) 331-3298.


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