Stanford researchers bring life to high school history classes with a curriculum built around historical documents
There are no orderly rows of desks in Valerie Ziegler's high school history class – students sit in groups of three or four at small tables around the room. There also is no lectern because there are no lectures. And perhaps most striking, there are no textbooks.
The 11th-grade class at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco learns about the Vietnam War, women's suffrage, civil rights, the Great Depression and other major events in U.S. history by analyzing journal writings, memoirs, speeches, songs, photographs, illustrations and other documents of the era.
"I always tell my students they're historians-in-training, so the work we do in here is that of a historian," Ziegler said.
The curriculum was introduced in 2008 at five schools in the San Francisco Unified School District as part of a study by Abby Reisman, who was the head curriculum designer while completing her doctoral work at Stanford.
It is now available through a partnership with the district to any teacher who chooses to use it and is free to download from the Internet. The program is also being developed for middle-school students.
"In all too many history classrooms, it's still the single voice of the textbook that students hear," said education Professor Sam Wineburg, who directs the Stanford History Education Group. "We need to break the stranglehold of the textbook by introducing students to the variety of voices they encounter in the past through primary sources."...
comments powered by Disqus
- Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible
- Parsing Ronald Reagan’s Words for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- Historians make it easy for visitors to DC to understand the history of the Mall
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer
- If historians have their way, Americans will soon learn how important religion has been in US history