Meeting Needs & Strategies

Viewing history through the lens of multiple perspectives can be beneficial anywhere but especially in the classroom. History is not a singular narrative but filled with varying experiences and points of view that determine how we view the past today. This process creates well-rounded individuals that look at a well-rounded, realistic past. This is the goal, after all, to shape students into thinkers so that they can find out the entirety of a situation and have controlled and civilized discussions with their peers. Our perception of the past is very much controlled by general assumptions when this is not the case. By looking at primary sources and first-person account’s a specific person’s values is addressed. This widens the narrow view we have and can be shocking to students. be prepared for this as a teacher and allow the surprises and shocks to be learning opportunities for critical thinking. Even though altering preconceived notions can be frustrating, it allows for the truest form of what history is.

An example of how this can be done is by choosing a battle in a war. Have the students then look at different primary sources that support both sides. When doing this it shows the students what each party was feeling and why the event happened. This eliminates the common practice of telling information as being completely solid and immovable. History is a mystery and sometimes it involves solving them. Yes, difficult varies based on the event and involved parties so it is crucial to keep in mind a growth process and encouragement. This builds the students skills and it is what they desperately need!

Planning strategies is absolutely needful when doing these kinds of assignments. Like mentioned before, they can be confusing, shocking, and frustrating, so it is important to know how to approach the situations when they arise. Gathering information such as the sources, their origins, and the structure of the document and analyzing the context prior is vital. Focus the analysis on the “Arc of Inquiry” which encourages intellectual growth and problem solving, this also includes creativity and making the process fun and exciting. The material can be used in different ways to promote different kinds of learning such as didactic, reflective, and affective that encourages the understanding of material, adapting as more is learned, and then evaluating the conclusions made. Never forget though, the greatest and most effective lessons involve student participation!