Not Just One Damned Thing After Another: Thoughts on the Art of Teaching History

In the past, I have had the privilege of working as a graduate teaching assistant for a diverse group of courses and under a broad range of teaching styles. Above all, my teaching philosophy rests on my belief in the importance of education for the development of critical analysis, empathy towards others, and human potential.

Teaching History

With regard to teaching history, I believe that it is vital to not only help students gain a thorough knowledge of historical information, but to also push them to develop the skills necessary for historical thinking. Thus, my approach challenges students to think like historians. To this end, it encourages them to unravel the connections between continuity and change, as well as to think more deeply about how we know and represent the past.

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Sample Lesson Plan 4: AP American History

 

BEGINNINGS (1491-1607)

1.4. Challenges to Catholic Spain and Other Colonial Beginnings

(Lecture Base)

Objectives:

  • Describe the tentative and sporadic nature of French and English colonial beginnings in the New World.
  • Discuss the English context for colonization, focusing on economic factors as well as the pretext that the conquest of Ireland provided for English colonizers.

Read moreSample Lesson Plan 4: AP American History

Sample Lesson Plan 3: AP American History

 

BEGINNINGS (1491-1607)

1.3. The Establishment of New Spain

(Lecture Base)

Objectives:

  • Look at the establishment of the Spanish Empire in America; focus on the factors that contributed to this development and their eventual effects.

 

  • Introduce methods for understanding and analyzing primary sources.

Read moreSample Lesson Plan 3: AP American History

Sample Lesson Plan 2: AP AMERICAN HISTORY

BEGINNINGS (1491-1607)

1.2. Factors of Exploration and the Contours of Contact

(Lecture Base)

Objectives:

  • Describe the characteristics of European society on the eve of contact
  • Describe the characteristics of early West African empires and identify their religious and social structures
  • Define the term “Columbian Exchange” and explain its impact on the emerging Atlantic World

Read moreSample Lesson Plan 2: AP AMERICAN HISTORY

SAMPLE LESSON PLAN: AP AMERICAN HISTORY

BEGINNINGS (1491-1607)

1.1. Pre-Columbian Era: New World Groups and Societies

(Lecture and Informal Class Discussion)

Objectives:

  • Explain and discuss the characteristics of the various New World groups and societies who occupied the region prior to contact with Europeans.
  • Emphasize how these groups represented diverse cultures and societies that built complex civilizations.
  • Push students to move away from a monolithic view of Native American peoples.

Read moreSAMPLE LESSON PLAN: AP AMERICAN HISTORY