Themed Teaching

Teaching history chronologically seems like the most logical way to do it. If you want to get through the most information possible while teaching, then sure, teaching history in a chronological manner makes sense. Although this doesn’t actually teach anything to the students. When teachers do this, it ends up being a meaningless bunch of dates and people that the student will never remember or find interesting. Doing a more thematic approach to teaching history will allow students to think more critically about what they are learning, causing them to recall the information more effectively. 

Something that I always do is ask people that say they hate history what they thought of their history classes. Most of the time, they will say that they just got talked at, they were made to memorize dates that had no meaning to them, and they just felt bored the entire time. Doing a more thematic approach can help the students feel as if there is some meaning to the information they are learning. If you preface a lesson with “Alright, this lesson is going nail down the concept of ____”, then students might want to get a bit more involved if they know there’s actually substance behind the information. 

While I think a thematic approach is extremely beneficial for students, I also think if a teacher is not prepared well enough or doesn’t know the content well enough, then that will hurt a student more than doing a poorly done chronological approach. If a teacher is not prepared enough, then it could seem as if the students are doing a bunch of rushed activities that also don’t have substance behind them. A thematic approach is a great idea and might be a bit more difficult to pull off, but I also think they would be beneficial for students.