2016-2017 Graduate Catalog

EDUA 5231 Developing a Historical Perspective

"Why is history important to me?" At some point, every history teacher has been asked this question. Historical events lack context, students feel disconnected from the past, and/or students don’t realize the impact of historical events on their lives. When history is taught in a meaningful way that enables students to relate to historical events and draw connections between the past and the present, they understand, appreciate, and are able to think critically about history. By developing a critical historical perspective, students are able to contextualize history in a way that allows them to draw meaning from past events; sharpen their understanding of the present; appreciate multiple perspectives on historical debates; become aware of both local and global issues and recognize their implications for individuals, communities, and society at large; and develop cross-disciplinary higher-order thinking skills that prepare them for college and careers.

In this course, teachers will learn best practices for engaging students in building critical historical perspectives and applying objective reasoning to historical analysis. Throughout the course, teachers will be introduced to various approaches to developing critical historical thinkers, including using social justice frameworks to unpack race, class, and gender and employing a commonalities approach to help students learn how to work through their biases and be more reflective in their analysis. By the end of the course, teachers will be able to teach students to ask good historical questions, analyze primary and secondary sources, and be critical consumers of historical and current events so that they are able to think like historians and engage authentically with the past.