Monday, December 31, 2012

Social and Cultural History: Do We Do This In Secondary Education???

Prepare Your Students for What They Will Face at University: Cultural and Social History




Yes, Dr. Hunt IS a real professor, and her ideas should give us pause for thought. Can we do our jobs even better by "doing" some explicit Social and Cultural History to prepare our students for University?

What might be a basic understanding of those two types of history that currently frame much of what happens in College and University History departments?:
  • Cultural History:  look at popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience. It examines the records and narrative descriptions of past knowledge, customs, and arts of a group of people.
  • Social History:  History that studies the experiences of ordinary people: "History from the Bottom Up," where you build your historical understanding from the experiences of the common people.
I know, I know, you are trying to maintain focus on your pacing guide, and do not have time to talk to your students about content in a way that takes time away from basic content investigation mandated by State Standards.

That IS important, but....A Professor of mine at George Mason University, Dr. Robert Hawkes, once said he was tired of getting students into his Freshman history classes that could not think and analyze their way out of a wet paper bag. Dr. Hawkes lamented their lack of social and cultural history analytical ability.

If you use these lenses to investigate history with your students now, Well Done!!! If not, think of integrating some Cultural and/or Social history investigation into your current units.

Stay Tuned to this blog in the coming days and weeks for posts that specifically relate to Social and Cultural History topics. Consider it a series. Hint on Installment One: It will have something to do with New Year’s Eve.


Possible Cultural-Social History Information Sources


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