“The Roles of Memorization in Teaching and Learning,” Education Week Teacher

As a social studies teacher, I am forever tormented by this question. If we spend a day unpacking the Emancipation Proclamation—worthwhile in so many ways, not least to appreciate Abraham Lincoln’s legal and linguistic brilliance—how many details of the Battle of Antietam, of Gettysburg, of the New York City draft riots go undiscussed? Pretty much every day’s lesson plan offers a similarly wrenching example… Continue reading

“Teaching U.S. History Through a Trauma Lens,” MiddleWeb

In our first conversation, “Teaching U.S. History in Turbulent Times,” we left off by discussing which primary sources are most effective for conveying empathy and gravitas in history lessons. This leads into another topic that has gripped me lately: how to sufficiently teach about systemic racism and oppression without making this lens the only way students see history. When I co-taught Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give with my partner English teacher… Continue reading

“Teaching U.S. History in Turbulent Times,” MiddleWeb

The protests that have been occurring across the country since the killing of George Floyd have led us once again to ask how best to teach U.S. history. These are issues that we have wrestled with throughout most of our careers, but recent events bring them to the forefront. A traditional blog post – with just one voice – is challenging to write at the moment because it presumes that we have answers. We don’t. Instead, we decided to get together and… Continue reading