NHD is the best social studies style program I have seen that gets students to apply their knowledge and skills to a real world question, and engage with the wider community about their research and passions.
I will never give up my intrinsic love of and passion for content, but it needs to be tempered with the recognition that students need more. Content is merely the roadmap to a skill set that will help every student think more deeply about and engage more critically with the world around them.
After a well needed summer respite another school year has started. One of the things I am most excited about is teaching our new 9th grade course. A major benefit of teaching at a private international school is curriculum flexibility. If our department sees a need to fill curriculum gaps or to make adjustments to … Continue reading The flexibility to design a new course is another reason I love international schools.
In the race to cover content it is easy to overlook the importance of scaffolding historical thinking during instruction. It is easy to ask students to analyze causes and effects, make comparisons, or effectively source documents; but harder to make sure students have a clear path to showing proficiency. Without clear scaffolding, without a system for teaching historical thinking, students are more likely to fall into "kitchen-sinkism." That is, they are more likely to think that copious amounts of detail and content, regardless of its relative significance, constitutes good history. Some students will always get to the goal on their own, but scaffolding helps all students have a clear path forward.
Curriculum is not an add-on task that occurs in meetings, over summers, or acts as a distraction from teaching and instruction. Curriculum is at the heart of teaching and teachers should own it and live it. Vertical and Horizontal alignment is an oft mentioned, but less fine-tuned component of curriculum.
Although the complexity point is difficult for students to earn, it is possible. Depending on the historical thinking skill or topic being written about, there are some easy frameworks students can use in their arguments to make writing with complexity a habit.
Review activities for AP World History Modern
The use of primary sources has become increasingly common in history classrooms. Educators and researchers have been broadly pushing for this years. Specifically, this has been part of a call for the explicit teaching of historical thinking skills alongside prioritized content. Interestingly, the largest barriers to increased use of primary sources in the classroom that I have witnessed are not student reading ability, but a lack of teacher training and experience as well as access to materials.
As students grow older they ask fewer questions. How can teachers fight back against this trend, integrating questioning strategies into their pedagogy in order to encourage inquiry and analytical depth?
This post contains my first draft and thoughts on the proficiency scales I've written on the C3 Geography standards. These will be used in a new interdisciplinary 9th grade course we are rolling out called Geographic Cultural Studies.