ERIC Number: EJ764883
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching High School History in the Context of Performance-Based Standards: An Innovative Approach for Urban Schools
Scappini, Robert A.
History Teacher, v37 n2 p183-191 Feb 2004
Today, urban high schools are faced with a variety of pressures that are competing for attention within the classroom. These pressures come from a variety of sources and for a variety of reasons. The situation may involve students who arrive in the classroom unable to read or write at grade level and who display a wide variety of educational deficiencies. Pressures may involve new state directives that require history teachers to become reading teachers. In this article, the author describes how he teaches history and captures the interest of students in the context of performance-based standards. This innovative approach enables the students to engage in historical thinking; to raise questions and marshal solid evidence in support of their answers; to go beyond the facts presented in the textbooks and examine the historical record for themselves; and to consult documents, journals, artifacts, historic sites, works of art, qualitative data, and other evidence from the past. Teaching history is more than just the timeline. For his students it has been about exploration, cooperation, analysis, and personal discovery. The skills they have developed during the project-based learning activities have translated into real world life skills that are transferable to any career path they follow. Urban schools and the students who attend them are in need of the cooperation, support, and attention of the entire community. Historical societies and the vast network of professionals and amateurs associated with them can make a difference in the quality of lessons that are developed. What better way is there for them to share their knowledge than to make it available to students who can appreciate a multidimensional approach to history. Experts in research, photography, oral history, culture, and manuscripts can help develop creative and dynamic history projects. This type of working partnership can capture the imagination of students and improve the quality of historical education.
Descriptors: History Instruction, Secondary Education, Urban Schools, High Schools, Student Projects, Active Learning, Local History, Partnerships in Education, Creative Teaching
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site: http://www.thehistoryteacher.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island