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ERIC Number: EJ1116697
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1554-8244
Terror, Memory, and Meaning
Draper, Timothy Dean
Across the Disciplines, v1 spec iss 2004
Timothy Draper's approach to teaching history is that the discipline essentially embodies the best of other humanities and social science disciplines. The processes of remembering, retelling, and reconstructing involve the higher domains of learning. Freed from the bonds of mere memorization of dates, the college history student analyzes, synthesizes, and evaluates the past and its sources. Such processes force the pedagogue continuously to re-invent methodology, evaluative tools, and narrative devices. This becomes especially true when the history instructor and his/her students confront the immediate past, for those recent memories more intimately involve subjective realities-bias, ideology, and partisanship. In the contemporary context, therefore, the teaching of 9/11 and related events of the United States invasion, conquest, and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq assume significantly heightened concerns for the classroom. Draper warns of the dangers of "presentism" when teaching or writing history. He writes that he tells his students the shortness of time has not yet allowed the scholar to develop "historical distance" in relation to events. Despite his personal reservations, Draper believes that present events may help him as a teacher to guide his students as they begin to interpret present events and think much more deeply about history not just as content or a discipline, but as a way of thinking. September 11--its events, consequences, and, most of all, remembrances--may transcend the horror of its fiery images if historians are able to guide students into comprehending that memory may serve as a powerful tool for not only understanding the past but reconstructing the present and constructing the future.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A