The true art of being a historian is not being taught in our classrooms. Often students find themselves taking notes directly from a textbook that constructs history often by using only a narrative from only one point of view or perspective. The book “Lies My Teacher Told Me” shows many of the reasons why we shouldn’t rely on textbooks to portray an accurate picture of history. We need to teach our students from the first day we have them in our class the true and essential properties of learning through examining the past. At the end of any future history course that I may teach I want my students to be able to 1) recognize that history is created by human actions 2) analyze primary sources 3) question secondary sources 4) develop their own arguments and provide alternative courses of action to historical events. In the blog article Making the First Day Matter the author provides an example of an assignment she uses on the first day of class to teach her students these properties of history. The assignment consists of having students construct a chronological narrative of historical events from a selection of sources.
I believe that if I land a job teaching a civics and economics course that I will allow students to debate on controversial political issues from the past and the present. If I can incorporate discussion of local, national, and international issues and events into the classroom than I can find a way to make the content relevant to the students lives. This will be easier if I know my students interests so that I can find content that will intrigue rather than bore. This process can also prepare my students for being involved in political participation and being interested in their local politics. Overall I just want my students to become more informed citizens that are aware of their rights so that they can guide and sustain themselves after they have left public education and my classroom.