PURPOSE OF COURSE:
Curriculum and Teaching in History prepares you to help the secondary student gain knowledge about past and present human experiences. You will integrate theoretical knowledge to practical teaching experiences to give direction and purpose to the learning you wish your students to participate in. You will gain insight into your students’ different learning styles, demanding creative and alternate ways in the planning, organization, presentation and assessment of units and daily lessons. You will become aware of the past and future mandates of your subject matter on both the state and federal levels. You will also become aware of and apply different technologies that will enhance your teaching and your students’ learning.
A great advantage in this challenge is a thorough knowledge of the subject, and an imaginative engagement with it such that the teacher's own connection to it is personal and lively. But history as a subject carries an additional challenge to today's teacher. There are many competing narratives, and those adhering to these narratives are vocal in their partisanship. Teaching history must be carried out with great delicacy, respecting all who feel the current circumstances of their lives have been affected by the events of the past as they understand them. The Massachusetts Common Core and the National Center for History in the Schools provide guidelines for the curriculum designer navigating these waters.
Students need to engage with the events of the past, through the documents which preserve them, in order to function as informed citizens in a democracy. Teachers perform a crucial role in this process such that, in spite of the challenges which face them their job is simple: creating people who understand the past and with that understanding become engaged citizens.