Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?  Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12

''Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer?''      Registration opens May 4, 2015


Students may think they want to be given the answer.  Yet, when they are actively engaged in investigating the past – the way professional historians do – they find that history class is not about the boring memorization of names, dates, and facts. Instead, it’s challenging fun.  Over the last fifteen years, Bruce Lesh has refined a method of teaching history that mirrors the process used by historians, where students are taught to ask questions of evidence and develop historical explanations.  In this online study of Bruce Lesh’s book, “Why Won’t You Just Tell Us The Answer?”, teachers will follow the steps that he took to transform his classroom into a laboratory for studying and learning history.  Teachers will discuss and gain insights on how to incorporate historical thinking skills and practices into their curriculum from a teacher’s perspective.

Module / Chapter Topics include:

  • Chapter 1:  Reinventing my Classroom
  • Chapter 2:  Introducing Historical Thinking
  • Chapter 3:  Text, Context, and Subtext: Evaluating Evidence and Exploring President Theodore Roosevelt and the Panama Canal
  • Chapter 4:  Using the Rail Strike of 1877 to Teach Chronological Thinking and Causality
  • Chapter 5:  “Revolution in the Air”” Using the Bonus March of 1932 to Teach Multiple Perspectives
  • Chapter 6:  Change and Continuity Over Time: Custer’s Last Stand of the Battle of the Greasy Grass?
  • Chapter 7:  Long or Short?: Using the Civil Rights Movement to Teach Historical Significance
  • Chapter 8:  Tying on the Shoes of Historical Actors: Using the Truman-MacArthur Debate to Teach Historical Empathy
  • Chapter 9:  “How am I Supposed to Do This Every Day?”: Historical Investigations Versus Sleep
  • Chapter 10:  Overcoming the Barrier to Change

To register for the course, you will need to complete the following:

  • Fill out the online registration form and  pay the $20 course fee for current members / $50 for non-members ($50 fee includes OCSS 1-year membership) at the Ohio History Store.
  • Participants interested in taking the course for an optional 1 graduate credit will need to fill out an Akron University registration form and pay an additional $145 to the University of Akron.
  • Sign up for a FREE Schoology.com account (An access code for your section will be sent to you via email about 1 week before the course begins).  A video tutorial has been created to get you started.

If you have questions about the course, please contact Corbin Moore at corbinmoore1@gmail.com.  Questions about graduate credit should be directed to Dr. Brad Maguth (bmaguth@uakron.edu) at the Akron University.

One Comment on “Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?  Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12

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