Uncoverage- Promoting Critical Thought

History courses have a lot of pertinent information to cover across their curriculum. There are a plethora of names, places, ideas, religions, etc. That a historical educator can cover. This is simply known as “coverage.” Teaching a history class where the only focus is on how much material you can, or have to cover, is actually hurting students from being able to truly get a grasp on what history is all about. This is where the idea of “uncoverage” comes into play. Uncoverage is the act of piecing together history by analyzing related, but incomplete, information about the past, and attempting to rationalize it. This practice allows students to be able to critically think about history, and practice how actual historians deal with evidence. Asking the students to figure out the “why” behind a historical event happened, and how it was important, allows students to discover information on their own, and come to their own conclusions. I believe that this is one of the best ways to cover history because instead of teaching a narrative, you are now asking students to develop their own. This not only would get students to want to engage with history more, as now they are actually involved in it; but also allows for more creativity in teaching history. As mentioned earlier this method of “uncoverage” allows students to practice being a historian, it also teaches why history is important. It allows a teacher to help students learn how historical narratives have changed over time, and why/how it is still evolving. It instills within the students that they are now a part of history, and included in this ever-changing story of history. I also believe that this assists teachers when planning their lessons. Uncoverage demands that a teacher thinks about the overarching concepts, and end goals, of a unit or lesson. It works very well with the idea of “backward design.” Once a teacher knows the end goals, they can begin to think of questions and topics that will help their students reach those goals. Once this is done the teacher can begin to implement effective activities, such as exit tickets. With exit tickets, students can be asked to recall/address the main themes that were covered that day. If the teacher efficiently reviews the data these tickets provide, the teacher can quickly see if a certain theme was grasped by which students, and provide useful feedback if needed.