Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lesh, Wineburg, and SHEG

     Since finishing Bruce Lesh's book, I have also read Sam Wineburg's Historical thinking and other unnatural acts. As I said in my first post, authors invite us to change. Change, though, usually requires effort, persistence, realism, and support (I need to explore 'realism' since I have a tendency to try to change too much too fast!).

     Reading Wineburg exposed me to his work with the Stanford Historical Education Group (SHEG), whose Reading Like an Historian approach and curriculum capture well what I would like to do in my history classroom. In fact, if I hadn't stumbled on the SHEG website and their free American History curriculum, I am not sure I would have the know how to restructure my Western Civ course. I am relying heavily on this curriculum, as well as the thinking behind it, as articulated by Avishag Reisman in her Stanford dissertation (pdf).

     SHEG has over 70 American history lessons on their website. I have been looking at SHEG's American History lessons to learn what a course genuinely focused on historical thinking would look like. I can say with certainty that historical thinking has not been the main focus of my lesson planning or of my instructional design and decision making (why? what has? More on this in future posts). My goal is to evolve as a history educator. Reading, writing, reflecting, especially through this blog and Twitter, and lesson planning are at the heart of my transformation.

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