Making History More Relevant, One Case At A TimeHistorians in the News
tags: teaching, history
After years of teaching high school history, Maureen O’Hern was looking for a new way to make it relevant and engaging for students. She found the answer in a surprising place — Harvard Business School and its use of case studies.
During a recent lesson, eleventh graders in her Advanced Placement U. S. history class at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Dorchester pulled their desks into semi-circles and faced O’Hern.
“Let’s jump back into where we left off. What were some of King’s strategies and how and why did he develop those strategies?” O’ Hern asked.
Instead of lecturing about the 1960s and Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil disobedience campaign, O’Hern posed questions. She prodded students to use evidence and build an argument. She eventually led these high school juniors to one of King’s critical decision-making moments — whether King and demonstrators should march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. after the federal government had ordered King not to.
“Why is he still contemplating crossing? We’ve talked about a lot of the concerns, safety of the people, going against the wishes of the federal government,” O’Hern said. “What’s happening here?”
Many of the students thought King should cross the bridge, citing evidence from a document on their desks.
“Obviously people are starting to lose interest,” Melina Fernandes, 16, said to the class. “And I think that him being arrested for breaking a federal order will give him publicity back.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Chris Hayes on How Police Treat Black Americans like Colonial Subjects
- 5 Ways to Rebuild Labor and Transform America
- Trump's Praise for China over Tiananmen Square Years ago was a Preview of his Support for Military Crackdowns on the George Floyd Protests
- For the First Time in 30 Years, Hong Kong Will Not Hold a Mass Vigil Commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre
- America's New Nihilism
- Why Teachers, Not Reformers, Should “Reimagine Education”
- COVID, Race, and a Pivotal Moment for America
- The Memo: Trump Lags in Polls as Crises Press
- Explaining the Insurrection Act of 1807 and Looking Back on Nixon’s Law & Order Campaign (Podcast)
- Trump Declared Himself the 'President of Law and Order.' Here's What People Get Wrong About the Origins of That Idea