Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What is history?

I am part of a grant on using the Library of Congress. They, evidently, have amazing resources on line and have grants for different universities to teach teachers how to use it.
Yesterday the class began. We received these books. Now, you may be in awe of these wonderful books. I looked at them and sighed. My summer books are already in line. Then I had a chuckle. Has this professor got an understanding of what the LOC is looking for? I don't think so.
When you teach about an on line source the things the person learning needs is a steady guide through that source and time to use it. If you want to add things- give technology. All of the teachers in this grant are just that - teachers. Most of the teachers were his students at one time and have most of these books.
Don't get me wrong. Teaching is a passion with me. There are a number of books lined up on differentiation of teaching and sourcing information in my basement pile (along with some romance and thrillers).
The book on Historical Thinking and Doing History will join the pile for reference. Glancing through the rest of them- they do not strike me as something I would use unless I chose to get a Masters in History (LOL- like I need to start another masters). I regress.
The topic is "What is History?" My thought is that history is the here and now- along with how we got here and why people made decisions regarding how we got here. My class does not memorize facts-but strives to see the relations.
What do people need to survive? Food, water and people.
After they have those things what else develops? Government, trade and religion - all for the same and different reasons.
When people have all of that- what do they tend to do? Try to get more.

Today will be a time for me to put a different spin on this grant for me. My hesitation to do things for no reason is high and time is precious to me. I think my topic from the LOC will be along the lines of development of civilizations from the archaeologist and sociologist point of view. I need a great set of power points for the first three classes in the fall. Wish me luck.

Until then- I thought I would share another picture of current history with you. Not the battle of Tennessee from the Civil War, but a warrior reading for battle in Afghanistan.

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