I introduce a subject and have the student work on it. I help and correct as needed.
I believe a student learns most by doing, by deliberately using information. After achieving an initial understanding, the fun of exploring a topic energizes a student to seek details, connections, and implications.
In History I show the context of where and when something happened, what led to it and then how it influenced future events. I emphasize analyzing cause and effect. I use dates and famous people to outline a subject before studying it, and to connect subjects later. I encourage memorizing main ideas, dates, and people to make the analysis easier. I encourage keeping notes and lists of secondary facts to use as finding aids when studying complex subjects.
I assign various study approaches such as answering questions, note taking, searching for and arranging facts and dates, summarizing, and hypothesizing. Materials to be studied include text books, encyclopedias, history books, literature, cartoons, art, editorials, and periodicals. I allow research on the web, but warn about its inaccuracies. I point out the more reliable resources, and methods for finding reliable information.
In writing about history I require using a brief outline and topic sentences. I encourage logical development of a paragraph and a variety of kinds of concluding sentences. I allow bullets and subtitles, for clarification. I have worked as a writer and mark grammar as well as historical accuracy.
My emphasis in college in US History was the history of ethnic and racial groups' fitting in and struggles. I also studied European History, Sociology, Political Science, Art History, and Urban Studies. In graduate school I studied labor relations, and relations with Canada and Latin America. In a course on the Third Reich I found connections to American and post-war history. Since graduate school I have read about the War Between the States, WWI, and WWII, as well as various other history subjects.
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