As as first year high school history teacher teaching World History, I often find myself wondering what my students absolutely need to learn in a high school history class.
Considering well over ninety-nine percent of them won't pursue any post-secondary courses in history, I feel that I have a duty to condense the 500+ years of history (the class basically covers 1500 to the present) I need to teach them into something that they might actually use later in life. Any recommendations /his/?
The only reason to learn anything in high school besides consumer education and government is to broaden your horizon before you go off to college and choose what degree to live your life around.
This is why I would never be a teacher. I refuse to teach anyone who isn't willing to learn the particular subject I'm teaching.
Yeah, that's mostly our focus. Primary/secondary source analysis with a focus on writing argumentative essays. It's better than just memorizing content, but Social Studies department usually ends up being English department's bitch because every school is focused on English and Math test scores.
I try to work this in when possible. Right now I'm discussing the Triangle Trade and showing how unchecked greed can lead to things like human beings being sold for guns and liquor.
Teach them in a way to understand how history repeats.
History doesnt exactly repeat. What repeats is human nature. History is about studying human nature and that is about studying politics, which is the true goal of history.
Okay. So I know you have to teach "lies for children" to broaden them to the point where they're capable of being taught how things are claimed by historians to have really happened…but I think you might want to evaluate which lies you teach.
I mean I doubt you have curriculum freedom, but you might want to summarise three or four academic positions in a debate, and as part of secondary source textual criticism encourage students to compare historical theories to their secondary and primary sources.
The other poster who suggested writing is also spot on, but allow me to also suggest speaking.
One technique I've used is the "Mock debate" where some students defend a person or practice, and others attempt to convict them. Other students act as witnesses. You act as the judge.
Planning, preparing and then speaking can really help students prepare for tutorial work and improve speaking. It can also be a technique to break through the "shy girl" phenomena because it is a more formalised speaking exercise. Also costumes, though I honestly hate undergraduates doing costumes.
The major problem is the dominant boy problem.
I think the Napoleonic Wars are a pretty good case study in the evolution of Nations and nationalism. 30 Years War is good for showing how religions develop as well as a solid introduction to politics. The World Wars are pretty much a necessity and maybe bring in the Franco-Prussian War as a background to WW1. I reckon the key is making them understand what it really was like at the time, like what they valued and why events happened instead of just what happened
We don't really have a curriculum because it's me (a first year teacher) and another young teacher that's jaded and has a Spanish degree but somehow ended up teaching World History. So I'm basically trying to develop my own curriculum based on a set of broad standards without much help while juggling all the other first year public school teacher problems. I also have to teach myself bits of history that I didn't really study in college, but that's not really a big deal.
After I muddle through the rest of the Age of Exploration/Columbian Exchange stuff, we'll be moving on to the Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution, and Reformation.
We don't actually read books in History. I barely even use the textbook because it's 10+ years old and tries to cram way too much history in 1000 pages.
In the English classes I teach though, we're reading The Great Gatsby and I'm working in poetry that has similar themes so we can do a bit of literary analysis. I'm not even qualified English so I'm just flying by the seat of my pants with the English coursework.
The purpose of High school should be to teach people to think for themselves and question everything. So you should teach them everything purposefully wrong, changing dates and conflating historical figures with each other so that even the cleverest pupils will be fooled. Then, the day before the AP history exam, tell them you tricked them and they're gonna fail and not get into college. The bitterness will motivate them to learn true history.
>dominant boy problem
Top kek,the woe and ruin of any attempt of high school debate, those 2-3 guys who are actually interested and overbearing enough that they dominate discussion to the point of discouraging the already uninterested rest of the class. When teacher's pet becomes teacher's nightmare.
The purpose of public education is to mold young minds into whatever you want them to believe, or at least what the system you work in wants them to believe.
The very nature of history as a field is tremendously important for this cause.
Pay particular attention to the first page of the book where he explains that his father molested him. Pay particular attention to how he deals with the women he wants to fuck and how he treats Phoebe when he goes over to the house drunk.
p.s.: he's in a mental ward.
OP here. I got my bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a qualification in Social Studies education. I got a job within six weeks of graduating, but I hear that in most parts of the country it's difficult to get a job teaching social studies because there aren't a lot of openings.
I'm only in my first year of teaching, but it can be rewarding and fun. Also I have a union, health insurance, and a retirement plan so that's nice. Additionally, I get all state and federal holidays off in addition to school breaks. My salary isn't amazing, but it's decent for someone with a bachelor's degree in a non-STEM field.
The downsides have mostly been classroom management, having to deal with shit head teenagers, all the other shit they want you to do on top of actually teaching.
I teach in one of the whitest and wealthiest areas of Hawaii, so I deal more with snotty entitled brats than ghetto kids.
I've taught in NE prep schools and I can tell you that there's little to no difference between the ultimate end goal of high school instruction between upperclass schools and ghetto schools.
I started the post writing that I don't notice it anymore.
But then I remembered that the reason for it is that it's not nearly as noticeable outside the class context and in fact the behaviour is still there.
[spoiler]it's me and it embarrases me to all hell to see my enthusiasm for "intellectual" subjects confronted by total indifference and sometimes even mild contempt for caring about such stuff[/goddamnit why can't all 4chan have spoilers?]
>As as first year high school history teacher teaching World History, I often find myself wondering what my students absolutely need to learn in a high school history class.
Make like most high-school teachers do and impress upon them the evils of white men and western civilization.
I'm teaching in Hawaii, USA. The culture here is a bit more laid back than on the mainland, but it's but overall it's a decent place to teach.
Surprisingly, most of the standards are Euro-centric and really emphasize things like the Reformation and Enlightenment, while the Ottoman Empire, Qing China, and Tokugawa Japan get sort of shoved into one standard.
>Candide and The Prince, for example.
I actually had those as choices for obligatory summer readings in high school. Candide (while not bad) was a disappointment. All Voltaire was a disappointment for that matter.
First things first:
Make sure they have a chronological notion of history.
What I mean by this, is that they should be able to understand historical facts and events as something that isnt isolated. Everything has causes and consequences. Thats what makes history (and the present) in the first place.
This is, of course, the bare basics
>with a focus on writing argumentative essays
That sounds a bit unconvincing. How exactly does that work?
Do essays try to explain something? Or do they just make some half-assed critic? Tell me the students dont use adjectives.
this. This is ultimately, I think, one of the final objectives that a student should have
Tell them history is written by the victor and not to trust everything they learn.
Tell them about how much evil the communists did to their own people.
Tell them about the reasons Germany hated Jews so much(Balfour declaration/great stab in the back, German communist revolution of 1918 ran by Jewish Bolsheviks, Weimar hyperinflation partially due to policies of Jew owned central bank, Jewish boycot of German goods in 1933, etc..). Tell them how the woman's suffrage and feminist movements started(white feather campaign to shame men into going to ww1). Tell them about Detroit before the blacks took it over. Tell them about Lincoln's plans to send blacks in America back to Africa before he was assassinated. Tell them how South Africa was during apartheid and how it is now a shithole. Tell them about how America put Japanese into concentration camps in WW2. Tell them why Anericans have a right to bear arms to resist an oppressive government. Tell them about how all the "death camps" in Nazi Germany were conveniently only on the soviet (Jewish Bolshevik) side of Europe and never inspected by western nations until many years after the war. Tell them about how Irish and Asian immigrants were discriminated against in the early 1900s. Tell them how the slaves were sold to the slave traders by other African blacks. Tell them how most slaves had decent conditions during slavery, and how much even shitty conditions were better than Africa. Tell them about the rampant propaganda in both world wars. Tell them how the nazis had many Jews, blacks, etc In the SS and the Wehrmacht. Tell them about the Nuremberg trials which suspended any need for evidence to convict someone of war crimes.
Most importantly, tell them the truth does not fear investigation, and to personally research as much as they can. Tell them they have access to more information at their fingertips than anyone else throughout history, and they should use it to their advantage.
While it would be nice to do that, I guarantee at least half my students wouldn't read it. I'd also need to get copies of the book somehow. The easiest and cheapest way would probably be just printing them all out myself. It might be worth it though.
Well, they do the AP style DBQ essays. The ones where they're given a writing prompt and then seven or eight primary source/secondary sources. They then have to write an essay using their own knowledge of content and the sources to construct their thesis/argument.
>tfw Ryan Gosling will never be your teacher
>ywn be his pupil
>ywn have manly sex with him
Maybe I'm underestimating the work ethic of high school students, as I was only in honours classes in my time, but The Prince is incredibly short at only 80 pages, so I imagine you could at least get them to read that.
Hell, since it's an old work with no copyright you wouldn't even need to print it out. They can read it for free on their phones or computers or what not.
In my opinion, history should be taught only as an interesting front for the historiography behind it.
As >>47394 says, there are academic and useful skills that can be learned, and they're far more valuable than learning about what historians say happened in the past.
Teach the historical enquiry, not history.
How would a howlie like me get a teaching job in hawaii? Is there an online database for job postings for hawaii? I am a secondary school teacher in california. Ive always wanted to move out to hawaii.
Taking a class on European Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict right now and I find the conflict in Northern Ireland to be incredibly interesting. But some antsy high schooler would be bored to tears unless it's about explicit violence and sex.
I'd say try to pick out more interesting and not well spoken pieces of history and tie it in with the more popular subjects like WWII or the Civil Rights movement. Going back to Northern Ireland, how the Irish had their own Civil Rights movement.
Have fun grading an assload of dbq's
...just pop on some crash course history and put your feet up on the desk. Inject some memes and blame every problem on white people and the American government. How many students you got, senpai?
It's not too hard. The Hawaii Department of Education is statewide, so once you're in the system you can get a job anywhere in the state. I got my degree at the University of Hawaii and went through their teacher accreditation program so part of that involved applying to the DOE.
If you're licensed in California, it would probably be as easy as figuring out how to get your out of state license transferred over and then applying to be put into the system. After you're in the system and have submitted all the paperwork, schools will call you if they have openings. I managed to get a job like 6 weeks after graduation teaching history, but only because it was a split line of World History and English.
5 classes with a rough average of 30 students per class. So something like 90 History students and 60 English students since I teach a split line.
Encourage questions and be able to elaborate on those questions. Also, ask them to think critically about the subject material. By the end of the year, they should understand that the subject material is more flexible then any of their other subjects aside from maybe English. Too many high schoolers think History Class is just memorizing dates when it's so much more than that.
>I often find myself wondering what my students absolutely need to learn in a high school history class
It's a remnant from when universities actually lived up their names instead of being glorified vocational daycare facilities.
i'm still buttmad about the obscene quantity of useless nothing information I had to learn about the indians (feathers). Every fucking grade the class must have spent a solid month on tipis and wigwams and fucking cedar log cabins and igloos.
this was Canada. They didn't even bother to call the class 'history'. It was 'social studies'.
I'm on Oahu so it's the only island I know. I'd say the worst schools are the ones with large Native Hawaiian or immigrant populations since they tend to be lower income areas. The kids tend to be respectful to authority though since Polynesian/Asian culture tends to emphasize that.
I guess my recommendation would be to be open minded, and realize that there's going to be some culture shock when you come to the only state in the US where white people are not the majority. Learning a little bit about the local culture would be a good idea so you don't come across as the stereotypical ignorant white guy that came to Hawaii to teach because you're trying to find yourself or something.
Decently written DBQs are easy to grade. The hard ones are the ones where they don't use any punctuation, capitalization and can't spell anything longer than four letters correctly. Those take the most time to correct and decipher.
I'm not complaining about that content showing up. Once would have been fine. But no. Every grade from late elementary school straight through to grade 12 featured an extensive section on them. Largely the same information over and over.
If it's a mandatory class try to boil it down to things everybody should know. Remember most of these kids are not interested in history and will absolutely not bother to research or read anything related to it on their own time, so your class is your only chance to teach them and remove their ignorance. Think of any subject you see people commonly ignorant of, and wish somebody had taught them better about it.
>The hard ones are the ones where they don't use any punctuation, capitalization and can't spell anything longer than four letters correctly.
What the actual fuck? Some of your students really don't even try, do they? People like that must be hard to teach, when you can tell they don't give a shit about the subject material at all and just want to graduate with a D in all their Social Studies classes.
Well, if you live in the U.S. you learn about the American Revolution no less than three times. The same decade over and over and over again. And then they have the nerve to barly even talk about the Consitution until you're in high school.
The United State's failure to teach students successful writing skills is embarrassing. I'm not one to talk, I didn't ever know I had dyslexia until I was a Junior, but hey, that just proves my point even more.
This isn't even in just my general education History class. I had 15 year olds in 10th Grade English Honors class not following basic spelling, capitalization, and punctuation rules and then getting up set because "no one else has ever graded us on that!". They've gotten better at it now that I've handed out a few D's and F's to them. I chalk it up more to laziness than an actual inability to follow basic grammar rules.
You being a shitty history teacher would have made it so they couldn't even pass the test anyways. If the College Board decides you didn't do a good job teaching AP classes, then your students aren't allowed to pass the test. Not sure why this system is in place considering you can not take the class at all and still take and pass the test. Also, I guess this scenario also assumes that you wrote your own textbook and swapped them out for the actually AP History textbook?
Also being this bad of a history teacher is probably way harder than being a mediocre or decent history teacher.
I can back up this statement. In my English Honors class for example, I'd say maybe like half of them are actual hard workers and/or intellectually gifted. But to be fair, I do have students that literally didn't sign up for Honors, but the school shoved them in there anyways because the general education classes were overflowing.
I'd say that if you can impart one concept, it's that people make choices based on perspectives that we may not be aware of.
Good luck actually achieving that.
I can back up this statement. In my English Honors class for example, I'd say maybe like half of them are actual hard workers and/or intellectually gifted. But to be fair, I do have students that literally didn't sign up for Honors, but the school shoved them in there anyways because the general educaiton classes were overflowing.
Yes it is. I get tenure after teaching 3 years and 1 day. The purpose of it is mostly a job security thing rather than a system in place to keep teachers from being fired for unpopular opinions.
I remember well from my history teacher in high school that there's always another point of view to everything, and it's important to consider those points of views before placing an opinion on something. My teacher demonstrated that very often through his teachings of events in history.
they're all going to believe what the television tells them to believe anyway. they think your class is even more useless than you think it is.
anyway, "teachers" are the worst people in our society. you should probably jump in front of a truck, you condescending little prick.
My HS World and Euro History teacher, one of the best teachers I've ever had, was of the opinion that his goals were to
1: give us at least a broad understanding of the general history of the world and basic geography, i.e if someone mentioned a certain historical period and location, we would be able to follow
2: teach us how to read historical documents for bias, point of view, and underlying arguments/assumptions
3: making us able to see "past" the facts and to be aware of/able to find more broad trends and directions peoples, entities, and movements were taking
4: to at least try to instill a love, or at least an appreciation, of history and the study of it.
Essentially, he knew he could teach us everything, so he wanted us to have the tools to be able to teach ourselves, and the desire to actually do it.
Also, NO ONE is without bias, and most people believe their actions are the best thing to do at the time, the point of history being to figure out why they thought that.
Teach them about every culture out there and compare and contrast between the two. Teach everything from the extravagant castles and monuments in Europe to the mudshacks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Being in a diverse, multicultural world, kids need to hear about the history of each culture and how it applies to society today.
Also, teach both sides of historical controversies, such as the various controversies surrounding the Holocaust. Children need to hear both sides of these controversies so they can make up their own mind.
Bro just do what I'm doing
>Major in History
>Pay for it all in student loans
>Have fun learning
>Blow your brains out
>Learn the the answer to the most important question
When I was in high school my attention to my history classes depended on the current material (I liked learning about wars and empires a lot more than hearing about stupid natives doing worthless shit before "evil" people conquered them) and the quality of the teacher.
One teacher I had was a self proclaimed communist who pushed some propaganda on us about Muslims. Those days in class were pretty boring, but sometimes when learning about European history he could be pretty funny when talking about how much it sucked to be a peasant.