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When most people are asked what their least favorite subject was in school, many state HISTORY, with a touch of anger or exasperation. "History," they say, "is boring, you just memorize names and dates, and talk about a lot of old, dead people." I recognize this is the way that many were taught history throughout their schooling, however I believe history can be fun and interesting, and much more than simply names and dates.

History can be taught using more than just names and dates. Primary sources, for example, are documents which people wrote perhaps hundreds or thousands of years ago or many miles from where you are. These sources and therefore, history tells us a story. These stories tell us how those who came before us lived, what they found important, who they loved, what they hated, what they believed in, how many children they had, when they died, and much more. Connecting our current lives to the actions of those who lived before us can give us a clue as to why we live in this country, why we live on this street, and who our anncestors were, giving us the abilty to place ourselves in the context of history.

History should be taught beyond standardized testing to show how our world was formed, how our communities, how our society, how our moral codes were formed and why. So much of the success of teaching the importance of history comes from enthusiastic, energetic, and passionate teachers.

I believe that every student should have equal access to education regardless of the intersections of their identities such as gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, etc. Students should feel safe to question themselves and others within the classroom, they should feel safe to voice their opinions, and to be themselves. Much of this creation of a safe environment to learn in hinges upon the attitudes and actions of the teacher. We, as teachers, should encourage students to learn more about themselves, about their society, their community, their world, and most importantly we should teach our students empathy and the power of knowledge.




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Steffaney Wilcox
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Last Updated: June 1, 2017
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