Teaching vs. Telling

The school year becomes so chaotic and granular that it’s hard not to swept up in the student’s memorization of facts. On Tuesday, June 5th my 10th grade students will took the Global Regents Transition exam.

I wonder in “covering” all the topics that I crammed in, how much teaching went on? How do I turn this information into discovery? How do I encourage curiosity ? How do empower their learning skills?

Field Trip, The Met

Why History?

Sometimes a student, usually a smart student who is bored or lost will ask,

Mr. W, why are we doing this?

Or

Why do I need to know this?

Those moments are a great opportunity to step back and lead students to the purpose of Social Studies, of history.

The purpose of history is to create stories of our past, to know who we are today, and create the stories of our future.

If a teacher cannot give a response to student as to why they are learning about a topic or theme other than, it’s on the test, or it’s in the text book, then why is the teacher teaching it?