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Apr 27, 16

Much can be learned from someone who devotes their time, energy and insight into an event in history. This blog contains much about the Lincoln Assasination and keeps readers abreast of current scholarship in the assassination and events surrounding its study and commemoration.

Apr 26, 16

The understanding that the Civil War ended at Appomattox is the perfect example of the "myth canon" - a general historical understanding that appears as a result of historical scholarship. It holds a seemingly unassailable place in state standards, textbooks and US History survey course curricula, but doesn't stand up to even the most modest historical scholarship.

Apr 26, 16

Here's a different approach - this thoroughly "readable" description of Sacco and Vanzetti gives students enough background to consider the question - what is it about Sacco and Vanzetti's trial and execution that motivates textbook and standardizes test publishers, to include them in their account of US History? Do they belong in a US History course - why?

Apr 23, 16

Half of history's dialogue with the past is the present. This new slavery museum marks an evolution in America's historical understanding of slavery. Teachers may only need the title of this article to capitalize on the potential of this article, but sharing it with students would deepen the conversation about how we should remember our past.

Apr 22, 16

Although this article deals with science, it speaks even more of Social Studies in acknowledging how difficult it is for students to move away from the socio-cultural anchors to abandon (or at least recognize socio-centric thinking) their world-view to understand different people. Yet, the key to instructional success is in the hands of a teacher who is more interested in learning how the students think in addition to how their discipline works.

  • “It’s very expensive in terms of mental effort to change the ideas that you come up with yourself,” Sadler says. “It’s a big investment to say, ‘I’m going to abandon this thing that I came up with that makes sense to me and believe what the book or the teacher says instead.’ ”
  • “Teachers who find their kids’ ideas fascinating are just better teachers than teachers who find the subject matter fascinating,” he says.


    The next step is to give students exposure to the information and experience that will enable them to reason their way to the right answer.

  • This rebellion has assumed the character of a War: as such it should be regarded; and it should be conducted upon the highest principles known to Christian Civilization. It should not be a War looking to the subjugation of the people of any state, in any event. It should not be, at all, a War upon population; but against armed forces and political organizations. Neither confiscation of property, political executions of persons, territorial organization of states or forcible abolition of slavery should be contemplated for a moment. In prosecuting the War, all private property and unarmed persons should be strictly protected; subject only to the necessities of military operations. All private property taken for military use should be paid for or receipted for; pillage and waste should be treated as high crimes; all unnecessary trespass sternly prohibited; and offensive demeanor by the military towards citizens promptly rebuked. Military arrests should not be tolerated, except in places where active hostilities exist; and oaths not required by enactments -- Constitutionally made -- should be neither demanded nor received. Military government should be confined to the preservation of public order and the protection of political rights.
Apr 20, 16

If you'd like to drag students into a 21st century version of "the Jungle" perhaps this might do it. It's not that the food is unhealthy or harmful to your health, but what you eating is not necessarily what you think you are eating. And according to this article, it most certainly is not what you are being told you are eating.

Apr 20, 16

One minute worth of HD video that deserves to be up on the screen as Geography students come into class at the start of the school year.

Apr 19, 16

Teaching develops better and more effective writing and reasoning skills, so teachers would be well served to pay heed to the suggestions in this short article about communicating their advice and criticism to students. Lesson plans and activities are important, but if we could measure the effect of all of are actions as educators, we may find that how we talk to students is more important in effecting real change in their performance.

Apr 18, 16

Hexagons can be used by students to create webs of linking people, events, ideas and concepts. This tool makes it easy for teachers to create them and students to use them. In less than five minutes teachers can have a set of hexagons that students can move around and connect in different ways. Throw these up on a SMART board and have students connect them one at a time and explain the nature of each hexagon's connection with every other hexagon it touches

Apr 15, 16

After Fort Sumter, President Lincoln requested 75,000 militiamen, including 2,340 officers and men from Virginia, to put down the Southern rebellion. This is a reprint of the response of the Virginia Governor. Students could be tasked with the interpretation of this document and synthesizing it with other common understandings of the causes of the Civil War.

Apr 15, 16

Students should be required to struggle with the balance of liberty and security during the Civil War. Lincoln suspended basic civil rights of citizens in his prosecution of the war to save the Union based on the protection of those same civil rights. This is his best defense of his actions.

This important public letter is probably the most famous defense by President Abraham Lincoln of his civil liberties position in a time of domestic insurrection. He not only allowed but encouraged it to be printed and distributed; estimates of readership ran as high as 10 million, or about one in three Americans, and the response to it was widely favorable.

Apr 06, 16

Straightforward assessment of the assessment process on the university level that high school history teachers will find familiar. Given the social and financial pressures facing humanities education today, history teachers best pay attention to these issues now.

Apr 06, 16

Teachers not lucky enough to read Tim Butcher's book The Trigger, can still get insight into World War I through an intense focus on the assassin who is credited with triggering it, Gavrillo Princip. In this 15 minute video, Tim Butcher explains when he learned by traveling through Bosnia to retrace the steps of Princip from the backwoods town of his youth (where remnants of his family still live) to Sarajevo, where he shot the heir to the Habsburg throne.

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