2012-09-21 07.27.22

How the Present Imagines the Past

As far as I’m concerned, the toughest task a history teacher faces is getting students to make responsible connections between past and present. I think this is essential to doing good history. Even for professional historians, it is a major challenge, since we also want to understand the past, as much as we can, on…

Photo on 11-11-14 at 2.40 PM #3

The Revolutionary Classroom

In preparation for the Massachusetts Historical Society’s upcoming conference on the American Revolution, there have been some really great posts at the Junto and Historiann about the state of the field for the American Revolution.  I’ve been particularly interested in the discussion about labeling this era and field of study: do we call it “the…

tara strauch

Object Lessons

I really enjoy teaching with mini lectures. The pace and variety of having an activity or discussion interspersed with lecture material gives students options for learning the material. One variation of this structure that I have used this semester is what I call the “object lesson.” The topic of the day’s class focuses on one…

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Mid-Semester Evaluations

Somewhere I read that mid-semester evaluations were good opportunities to check how a course was going so that you can make any adjustments needed and potentially save a course that might have been going poorly. You can also use them to continue doing what works and to even foster habits of reflection and adjustment among…

Photo on 11-11-14 at 2.40 PM #3

Numbers and Words

It’s that time of year again.  This semester I’m teaching my “Social Science Approaches to the American Past” and as I type today, my students are meeting in their small groups to prepare for their presentations next week on runaway slave advertisements.   I’m with Kelly on the value of group work from time to time. …