Comments on: Effective history teaching: passion and deep knowledge (and stay classy!) http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:23:22 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Shelley http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1909417 Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:19:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1909417 My old friend the late Richard Sewall, Dickinson’s biographer, used to remind us: “The purpose of the humanities is to make people more humane.”

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By: Alice http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1906623 Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:31:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1906623 Speaking of amateurs … I’m an historian of science, and have encountered more scientists than I can count who claim to be able to teach the history of science. Once again — it helps if you know some history.

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By: Western Dave http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1904957 Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:27:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1904957 Sorry it took me so long to check in. I had my first foray into working with public school teachers at the NEHTA conference this year. (For those who don’t remember who I am, I’m a PhD who teaches Upper School in an independent K-12). So many of the folks had so little history background, but many were eager to learn.

Far more frustrating were the days of the AP World listserv where I (and others) kept trying to explain to people that “No there are not 100 top facts in World History that every student needs to know.” However, asking students to come up with a list of 10 and justify their choices would be an excellent review for the exam. So many people just. didn’t. get it.

And as long as us hs types are plugging our blogs…
http://benthamorfoucault.blogspot.com/

Most recent posts are about trying to teach students and other teachers how to think and act like historians. One of these days I’ll tell the story of my material culture classroom collection which consists of a 1950s vintage gieger counter and a 1920 Hamilton Beech vibrator.

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By: Adam Arenson http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1904760 Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:26:17 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1904760 Hello, and Happy 2014!

I have a colleague that says on the first day “This history class will be different — I am not named ‘Coach,’” and gets a good laugh. I thankfully never had that experience as a student — at my SoCal high school, the science teachers were the coaches and seemingly very qualified at both — but I have found it a common experience among my students.

In terms of Katherine’s point about what they expect, and triangulating it with Sam Wineburg, Eric Foner’s comments, and whatever NCLB and Common Core are providing us, I start the survey with a slide that says “Not Your High School History Class” and I get all those fears on the table, those expectations, those preconceptions. Then I talk about what actual historians do, and how different it is, and I use Lendol Calder’s Uncoverage approach to make them into historians — imperfect “dueling textbooks” rather than a Voice of God Consensus book; lots of primary source analysis, both visual and textual; and final assignments that make them form the syntheses. It has been working well.

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By: HighSchoolPhD http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1903794 Wed, 15 Jan 2014 00:30:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1903794 I thought a lot about this in High School. My sophomore history teacher was a water polo coach who told us to sit and read the textbook for 98 minutes each class (ugg, block scheduling). But in junior and senior year, I had a teacher with a Masters in History and who taught at the local Community College. That man taught me to love history and is responsible for my ending up in graduate school.
Now that I teach at a high school level, my Ph.D. is incredibly valuable. I know how to stay updated in my field to build an up-to-date curriculum AND I can really explain what historians do (and teach students historical skills) rather than just relying on a textbook to determine my curriculum. What I thought would intimidate students (my degree), has become my greatest asset in reaching them.

Truly progressive educators like Rick Wormelli (http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Wormeli/e/B001JS321Q) would argue that all teachers need to be up-to-date experts in their field AND constantly working to improve their pedagogy. I like to think I follow in that vein.

Shameless plug alert: I’ve started my own blog to explore the challenges and questions that arise from being a high school teacher with a Ph.D. (http://highschoolphd.wordpress.com/).
In addition, it will cover is a year-long project that I, another high school teacher, and a few college professors (old grad school buddies) are undertaking. For the next year, we’re going to talk across the high-school/secondary-school divide to try and develop a history curriculum built on fundamental historical skills — new and old (primary/secondary source analysis, writing, digital literacy). We’re going to try and present at next year’s AHA. But if we don’t get accepted as a panel, we plan to do this anyway.
It will also cover my attempts to transform curriculum at my school. I want to develop a primary-source-driven, American History curriculum by throwing out the textbook completely. If the school lets me, I plan to blog that as well.

Sometime I feel like I live in a void — devoid of contact with a larger community because I bridge the gap between the academy and secondary teaching. The blog is an effort to change that, so comments are most welcome.

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By: Ellie http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1903583 Tue, 14 Jan 2014 19:25:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1903583 Yes, what Katherine said about the preconceptions students bring with them about what “counts” as legitimate historical subject matter.

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By: Katherine http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1903367 Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:41:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1903367 A related issue is that as a result of students having history classes in elementary and high school, but not say anthropology courses, is that when they get to college and have to contend with college-level courses, there can be a problem, because college level history isn’t like high school level history. I have had any number of student become very frustrated with me, because what I teach isn’t like what they learned in high school. I always suspect this is at an issue for anthropologists as much, because students don’t already think they know what anthropology is. But it also feeds into student and public stereotypes of academics. We only teach leftie history ie full of women an minorities, not the important stuff of white men and wars. So the believe that students have that they know what history is already has larger ramifications.

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By: Kathie http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1902921 Tue, 14 Jan 2014 02:12:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1902921 I had some great history and social studies teachers in high school – none of them were also coaches, and as far as I know they all had at least some history training. My favorite was a wonderful woman, Deborah Willard (Deborah Skauen when I had her), who really loved history, and went on to be named Connecticut Teacher of the Year in 1986, long after I had graduated. I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was to have her, I just knew she was great. I was glad to meet her sometime later and let her know I was getting a PhD in history; she was thrilled. Two of my friends in my graduating class also went on to get PhDs in history, and I am sure they would also give credit to Mrs. Skauen (as she was then) for her enthusiasm and encouragement.

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By: koshembos http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1902904 Tue, 14 Jan 2014 01:45:29 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1902904 Passion in what you do makes a world of difference. Several of the above comments say that one way or another. One of my PE teachers was very passionate about his work. We all liked him and whatever he wanted us to do. (This takes care of putting down coaches.)

From high school I recall the passion of one physics teacher, one literature teacher and one geography teacher. She was a real looker and was dancing the material in front of us; she was a great teacher.

Their faces, movements, opinions, reactions and appearances are fully with me more than 50 years after school.

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2014/01/12/effective-history-teaching-passion-and-deep-knowledge-and-stay-classy/comment-page-1/#comment-1902849 Tue, 14 Jan 2014 00:13:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22262#comment-1902849 I assign the Wineburg when I teach historiography: enough of our students are interested in teaching, and it also helps them see the moves they need to make in becoming historians. And students really like it.

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