FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              October 24, 2006 


            High school Oklahoma history instructors have a new textbook from which to choose thanks to work provided by the dean of Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Woodward campus.

            Dr. Deena Fisher, who also serves Northwestern as an associate professor of history, is a contributing editor for Oklahoma: Land of Contrasts, which is up for the Social Science State Adoption list this year as a high school Oklahoma History textbook.

Dr. Deena Fisher, Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward campus dean, is a contributing editor for a new high school Oklahoma history book, “Oklahoma: Land of Contrasts.”

            Fisher reviewed chapters in the book for historical accuracy and authored the Teacher Wrap-Around edition. She also wrote the Instruction Manual that includes the Teachers’ Test Bank and the Student Activities.

            In the Teachers’ Wrap-Around edition, Fisher wrote the chapter overview, getting started, Oklahoma trivia and lesson closure section. Fisher also said that on every page she wrote suggestions to the teacher for class discussion questions, geography activities, cooperative learning opportunities, critical thinking questions, research assignments, technology activities, multi-learning styles assignments, multi-discipline activities and writing assignments.

            “There are several activities to reinforce critical thinking and content area and some others for more of an understanding of the culture of Oklahoma,” Fisher said. “There are ideas for skits, art work, essays, debates, music, festivals, maps, displays, panel discussions and creative writing.”

            Fisher said that fellow contributing editor and friend Rita Geiger, a former social studies specialist at the Oklahoma State Department of Education and current educational consultant, asked her to be involved in this textbook project. She admitted that when she was first asked, she didn’t think she had the time or energy to do the project, but said Geiger and the book’s publisher, Tommy Lankford, flattered her into writing the teacher and student materials and into accepting the position as a contributing editor.

            It doesn’t hurt that she’s passionate about Oklahoma history either.

            “I love to teach Oklahoma history,” Fisher said. “The rich and colorful history of our state is fascinating whether it is how the various Indian tribes survived, how the cattle industry prospered, how the oil industry started, how the farmers withstood hardships and/or the unique way we gained statehood.

            “I am proud to help secondary education students learn our unique history. Oklahoma history is very much the story of the survival of rugged individualists from all walks of life who made this state great, having survived the ups and downs of living in this part of the world. We need to pass down from generation to generation that Oklahoma spirit and certain sense of determination that makes us unique as a state.”

            The book’s author is Bonnie McDonald, a former newspaper reporter and photographer in Woodward. She worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Education where she traveled around the state gathering information for stories about education, and also has worked on various freelance projects.

            Besides the Oklahoma History and Government class Fisher teaches at Northwestern, she has coordinated a week-long Oklahoma history summer institute for teachers and students for several years in Enid and Woodward that is co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society’s (OHS) Museum of the Cherokee Strip in Enid, the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum in Woodward, Historic Ft. Supply and Northwestern.

            Fisher is a past recipient of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Teacher of the Year in Law Related Education and the Daughters of the American Revolution Oklahoma American History Teacher of the Year award.

            She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the OHS and is a past president of the Oklahoma Council of the Social Studies. She serves on the board for the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid and for the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum. She also is included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women.

            The textbook is published by Clairmont Press, Inc., of Atlanta, Ga.


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