US History, European History, Writing
US History, European History, Writing
I believe my role as a teacher is that of, as Plato put it, a midwife to knowledge. It is my job to both challenge and encourage students to attempt to come to terms with new knowledge within the context of the things they already know. In terms of the field of history, this means contextualizing material about the past such that it makes sense within a contemporary framework. It is my job to coax students to look within themselves to find the answers to even their deepest and most complex...
I believe my role as a teacher is that of, as Plato put it, a midwife to knowledge. It is my job to both challenge and encourage students to attempt to come to terms with new knowledge within the context of the things they already know. In terms of the field of history, this means contextualizing material about the past such that it makes sense within a contemporary framework. It is my job to coax students to look within themselves to find the answers to even their deepest and most complex questions.
I have spent virtually my entire life in pursuit of learning - whether that learning came from formal education, on the job experience, or any of life's explorations. I have turned that love of learning into a burgeoning career as an educator. For the past 3 years I have been teaching history to undergraduates at the University of New Hampshire. I love sharing my passion for history with my students. What's more, I really enjoy it when I can see that my students have put concepts that I have taught to work in helping them understand the material presented. I can't help but smile when a student hands in an assignment where it's clear that he or she has critically examined the problem at hand and delivered a cogent and convincing argument in an attempt to tackle the problem.
History is not all about memorizing dates and names. While some dates and names are clearly important, the real crux of learning history is being able to put the puzzle pieces together, and perhaps more importantly, why those pieces fit together and not with others. So, in part, history is also learning important critical thinking skills along with learning interesting facts about the past. It is also important to be able to effectively present one's own arguments regarding bits of evidence about historical events and people. In many ways, historians are like CSI detectives.
I have spent the past five years as a history graduate student pursuing a doctorate degree at the University of New Hampshire, studying with world-renown, award-winning professors. My historical interests are 19th-20th century U.S. and European intellectual, social, and cultural history. Essentially what that means is that I study philosophers, politicians, artists, and scientists, their ideas and writings, how their ideas interact with one another, and how their ideas translated to the general public. As I was undergoing my own coursework and research, I served as a Teaching Assistant for four different courses - Early American History, Modern U.S. History, Western Civilization I, and Western Civilization II. In these courses, it was my job to guide students through the readings for each week and to help them understand the historical concepts at work. Later, I taught my own courses in Early American History and Modern U.S. History where I was solely responsible for presenting a semester's worth of material to my students to help them to understand the major developments and events of American history.
As an undergraduate, I was a Philosophy major with a Humanities minor. My work in Philosophy help me develop my critical thinking skills and study the logic of written arguments. I also learned the importance of using works of literature as philosophical and historical sources.
In an attempt to get the best out my students, I like to use a variety of different types of assignments that allow students to display their peculiar talents for objective, analytical, and creative thought. Of course, writing assignments are crucial to the study of history, but not all students will have the same capabilities to that end, and therefore, their needs should be met in other ways, such as creative assignments or objective tests.