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Teaching History Articles – Strategies for Engaging Students

Teaching History Articles - Strategies for Engaging Students

Teaching history strategies. These articles about teaching history provide tips, tricks, and advice on how to engage students.

If you’re a teacher looking for resources to help teach history in the classroom, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a collection of articles and podcasts that cover topics from issues in history teaching to activities for teaching history and history teacher education. No matter the topic, you can find something here that will aid in your lesson plans.

101 Things Every College Graduate Should Know About American History

How precise is the educated American’s understanding of the history of our country? How well does the average person remember the important facts; the laws, treaties, people, and events that should be familiar to everyone? What follows is not a test …

John A. Garraty, American Heritage 1986

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Humanities teach students to think. Where would we be without them?

Following announced funding cuts in US universities, is it entirely paranoid to wonder if humanities are under attack because they enable students to think?

Francine Prose, The Guardian 2017

Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds

Teens absorb social media news without considering the source; parents can teach research skills and skepticism

Sue Shellenbarger, Wall Street Journal 2016

25 Best Social Studies Websites for Kids and Teachers to Learn

Here are the best websites, recommended by readers of this website, with their official descriptions.

Dana Truby, We are Teachers 2017

See our collected articles about U.S. History until 1800

Our schools will get rid of AP courses. Here’s why

Eight Heads of Washington-Area Private Schools, Washington Post 2018

The Remedy for the Spread of Fake News? History Teachers

Historical literacy, and the healthy skepticism that comes with it, provides the framework for being able to discern truth from fiction

Kevin M. Levin, Smithsonian 2016

A Kinder, Gentler History

Reading history, one can often get a sense of being shown an endless parade of human savagery. But History offers us the opportunity to try on someone else’s shoes and take them for a wander. It gives us a risk-free opportunity to practise empathy.

Suzannah Lipscomb, History Today 2017

All History Is Controversial; Here’s How To Teach It

Does anyone know how to teach history anymore? That’s an explosive question these days — not just on college campuses, but also in town meetings, talk-radio shows, newspapers’ editorial pages, Twitter and anywhere else that controversial debates stir people’s blood.

George Anders, Forbes 2016

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Vertical vocabulary

We can drill pupils all we like on significant dates, people and places, but that does not, on its own, give our pupils the vocabulary to express what these dates, events and people mean. Unless history is to become ‘just one damn thing after another’ we need our pupils to be able to know what I call ‘vertical’ as well as ‘horizontal’ vocabulary.

JHC Porter, To Learn is to Follow 2017

See our Biography Dictionaries

Arguing for history: If not skills, then what?

Defending history chiefly in terms of skills is inherently a losing gambit. Locating a discipline’s value in the skills it conveys subordinates the substance of that discipline – what makes it unique and irreplaceable- to the transferable skills that are almost by definition available from other (perhaps cheaper) sources.

Ted McCormick, Memorious 2016

See our free books on U.S. History 20th Century pdf

Changing the Discourse on Graduate History Education: Lessons from the Crossroads

March 11 and 12, 2016 the authors hosted ‘Crossroads’, a conference on the future of graduate history education at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. This is a report on the sessions, discussions, and issues addressed.

Jordan M. Reed and Leanne M. Horinko, OAH blog

Why Students Can’t Google Their Way to the Truth

Fact-checkers and students approach websites differently

Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, Education Week 2016

Why students should not be taught general critical-thinking skills

It’s natural to want children and graduates to develop a set of all-purpose cognitive tools with which to navigate their way through the world. But can such things be taught? Carl Hendrick argues that general critical thinking skills cannot be so easily transferred from one context to another.

Carl Hendrick, London School of Economics and Political Science 2017

Characteristics of Historical Thinking

“Almost every historian has his or her own personal list of the characteristics of historical thinking, but abilities that come up again and again are:
1. The ability to tell the difference between a primary and a secondary source.
2. The ability to ‘source the source’; that is, figure out who created the source, when it was created, and so on.”
(plus 13 more characteristics)

Kelly, T. Mills, Teaching History in the Digital Age 2013

Debating the Holocaust? The Role of Debate in History

Should we debate the Holocaust? What does it even mean to debate the Holocaust? What are the merits or demerits of his position? The author says we should not debate it. Here’s why.

Andrew Nurse, ActiveHistory.ca 2018

Defining History as a School Subject

In response to calls made for History to be a compulsory subject in South African schools and for the history curriculum to be “strengthened,” the Minister of Basic Education appointed a Task team to investigate and research the matter, and held a ’round table’ consultation with interested groups.

Sieborger, Rob, Public History Weekly 2016

See our page about Century Past for more info about this website

Digital history for undergraduates… without the coding

Digital history presents several obstacles for introductory-level students. For all the claims about the millennial generation’s tech literacy, they are more adept as consumers than creators. I wanted experiential learning and found a workable solution via the site HistoryPin.com.

Aaron Cowan, History at Work 2013

Do we need to rethink how we teach the Holocaust?

While the focus has been on teaching the dangers of racism, many students are left in the dark about the history and motivations for this troubling period.

Sylwia Holmes, Guardian 2016

Don’t Put Away Your Phones: Bringing Twitter into the College Classroom

3rd of a five-part series on teaching history in the digital age. A smart phone alone contains an astounding wealth of readily accessible resources. Burton asks students to make use of their devices to learn and better understand the material presented in the classroom, through Twitter.

Kristen D. Burton, OAH blog 2015

Fargo History Project

Final part of 5-part series in Teaching History in the Digital Age. Smith founded the of Fargo History Project as a delivery vehicle for student research in her Digital History course at North Dakota State U. Students take on various local history research projects and post their work on the site.

Angela Smith, OAH blog 2015

Four reasons everyone should study history

Rachel Griess, Life & Letters 2018

From Minecraft to Mindcraft: Integrating Digital Humanities into History Courses

4th of a five-part series on teaching history in the digital age. The author’s idea was for the class to build the 1939 World’s Fair, as a way to understand 1939. They used the computer game ‘Minecraft’ because it allows kids to build a world inside the game.

Amy Absher, OAH blog 2015

From Prudish Victorians to Arrows in the Eye – 10 things from history everyone gets wrong

This week we were told that rats didn’t spread the plague, the Aztecs weren’t wiped out by smallpox and ‘whipping boys’ may never have actually existed. So what other ‘facts’ are historically suspect?

Rebecca Rideal, Guardian 2018

See our free books on Native American history

The History Classroom in an Era of Crisis

A Change of Course Is Needed

David Pace, Perspectives on History 2017

History is not a useless major: Fighting myths with data

Paul Sturtevant, Perspectives on History 2017

How A Major in History Gives You the Intangible Edge

Studying history gives graduates tremendous flexibility in the job market. In fact, history is not merely a degree you could consider – it is the degree you would be remiss not to.

Jacob Anbinder, Perspectives on History 2016

How History Classes Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America

The author of Lies My Teacher Told Me discusses how schools’ flawed approach to teaching the country’s past affects its civic health.

Alia Wong, The Atlantic 2018

See our free articles on women’s history

Many thousands failed; a wakeup call to history educators

Andrew K. Koch, Perspectives on History 2017

Qualities of a good historian

Suzanne McCormack on Teaching History Online

2nd of a five-part series on teaching history in the digital age. McCormack responds to questions such as, “Is it easier or harder to teach online courses?”, “Why do you say your online discussions are more robust than those in the classroom?”.

Suzanne McCormack, OAH blog 2015

Teachers on Twitter: why you should join and how to get started

Thanks to inspiring and generous teachers on the social media site, my passion for my job has been renewed

Erin Miller, The Guardian 2017

About Teachinghistory.org

Teachinghistory.org is designed to help K–12 history teachers access resources and materials to improve U.S. history education in the classroom. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) has created Teachinghistory.org with the goal of making history content, teaching strategies, resources, and research accessible.

TeachingHistory.org Website

Teaching History Despite Banal Nationalism

Jorge Saiz Serano, Public History Weekly 2017

Teaching History in Order to Develop Critical Thinking?

Nadine Fink, Public History Weekly 2017

Why Did We Stop Teaching Political History?

Fredrik Logevall and Kenneth Osgood, NY Times 2016

‘You Have to Know History to Actually Teach It’

An interview with Eric Foner, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.

David Cutler, The Atlantic 2014

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