“[l]earning history involves evaluating documents from the past, seriously considering conflicting ideas, drawing conclusions based on reliable evidence, debating ideas with others, and owning the bad as well as the good in a nation’s past. It requires an open mind. It involves wresting with the uncomfortable as well as uncovering the admirable, The only way to truly know and love a nation is to embrace it in all its complexity, including its sins as well as its virtue, and work for a better future. The study of history–the sincere, open, and serious study of history in all its complexity–is dangerous and misleading only if you have something to hide. And it’s impossible to understand ourselves as a nation, and to reckon with the roots and implications or our current moment, if we deny the uncomfortable parts of America’s past.”
While we worked on over half a dozen primary sources, and half a dozen secondary sources, and a few tertiary sources, students are understanding the work of becoming a historian. If they leave quarter one with one skill, which is to identify sources and be able to research their questions, they have done a great job during distance learning. The students for the most part have been trying their best. I think it is almost 100% of pupils have followed the social contract and used their pre-frontal cortex well.
They are still learning the new technology and ways to process the information to understand the course. More students are using questions to make connections and key learnings about our course. They are learning that our history begs that we as Americans, are trying to create equality, as the Declaration of Independence says, and that we are to hold these ideas as self-evident. Great job historians and philosopher kings!