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ERIC Number: EJ765222
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Teaching Environmental History: Environmental Thinking and Practice in Europe, 1500 to the Present
Schwartz, Robert M.
History Teacher, v39 n3 p325-354 May 2006
In this article, the author describes the teaching methods he used in an environmental history course. He relates that the ecologist's web of life serves as his guiding principle for teaching in his course. From an imagined center of the web, he relates that he and his class move outward to explore two main areas of environmental history in the western European past: 1) the varied and shifting conceptions of nature, primarily since the Middle Ages, and 2) the environmental change created by human endeavor and new technology. He and his class examine an example of environmental change in the case of Britain's industrialization and the impact of railways on the human and physical environments of England and Wales. He relates how his course allowed his students to think historically. Against the idea of history as a chronological sequence of events and dates, he relates that he usually asks his students to learn the five elements of good historical thinking. These comprise an understanding of: 1) historical change and continuity, 2) the differences in outlook and assumptions held by people in the past as compared to us today, 3) the way the world looked to the people under study, 4) the variety of ways historians approach and interpret the past, and 5) the ways in which the past affects the present (and future). (Contains 8 notes, 3 maps, 3 images and 13 online resources.)
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:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)