You should teach…

About Juneteenth (Jelani Cobb)

About Tulsa (by Tom Hanks). (Responses here.)

About Dred Scott (Jeannie Suk Gerson)

Lots of great articles lately. Anyone who teaches history wants to do two things that can feel contradictory:

  • help kids to foster their own narrative of American history
  • help kids to use evidence to shape that narrative.

Playing gotcha doesn’t help– aha! You looked at X but failed to study Y — but a teacher should have a sharp and ready explanation for the choices they did make over the course of the year. If they’ve done their job, then students, when presented with a new event or something they weren’t “taught”, would be able to contextualize it within the narrative they’ve started to build. More importantly, they’d know which questions to ask in order to do this well.

One thought on “You should teach…”

  1. Heard a story from a firsthand source the other day that JSG uses a pedagogical technique in her classroom in which “personal stories” are prohibited. You may not raise anything in the discussion that starts with “I” or “We” or “In my experience.” Would be interested in exploring the costs and benefits of that kind of teaching technique.

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