Month: November 2019

Evaluating Secondary Sources

The majority of information that history students will come across is secondary in nature. Students are expected to read textbooks and online articles, as well as watch videos of historians, educators, and independent creators. Often times, students are bombarded with secondary information for the sake of giving students context. The issue lies with students inability to digest the amount of information given to them. This article will focus on how students can read secondary sources …

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Data Collection: Teaching Social Studies Skills and Historical Thinking

Historical Thinking, or learning social studies skills, focuses on a student’s ability to analyze, evaluate, and create arguments and solutions based on a method of inquiry. There are several ways students can demonstrate their cognitive ability to historically think, including analyzing primary sources, developing original answers based on their observations, and supporting their findings with evidence and rational. My preservice teachers believe that historical thinking is important. When I ask students about historical thinking, many …

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Negotiating The Politics of Teaching History

Teaching is a challenging practice, partly due to all of the different political environments that educators have to navigate. Teachers must satisfy administration through test scores, their fellow teachers by preparing students for the next level of education, and themselves because of their own personal teaching philosophies. In this article I wanted to focus on the unique power dynamics that exist in teaching history. Teachers of history must negotiate with students, administration, other history teachers, …

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Collecting Data and Shaping Curriculum To Teach Preservice Social Studies Teachers

Over the Fall 2019 semester, I have guided and instructed preservice social studies teachers through their practicum experience. My students must complete one hundred hours of onsite observations and teaching, and I monitor a few of their lessons and review their reflections. If you ask a practicing educator, “What was the most valuable experience you had in order to become a teacher?”, many of them will reply it was their practicum and student teaching experiences. …

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How Does A History Teacher Exercise Power

All teachers have power, but I believe history teachers have particular powers solely held in their discipline. History falls under the wider umbrella of social studies which comprises disciplines that examine human action and interaction. In history, my students and I examine what people did, but we also ask why and how they did it. Beyond even the broad questions of why and how, I ask my students to connect their reasoning to the problems, …

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