How can history be taught effectively? Does knowing about the past give meaning to the present and hints to what will happen in the future? This book responds to these questions as it explores the key elements of history instruction–the use of primary sources and narratives, involving students in the historical inquiry through classroom discussions, teaching toward chronological thinking, and the use of historical documents to develop in students a “detective approach” to solving historical problems. Taking a systematic approach to improve students’ historical thinking, this book emphasizes certain strategies that will help students know more about the past in ways that will help them in their lives today.
The second edition is organized in three parts–Part One describes the theoretical background to teaching history. Part Two, Planning and Assessment, emphasizes the importance of good organization and lesson planning as well as how to assess students’ knowledge, reasoning power, and effective use of communication in the history classroom. Part Three, Instruction, focuses on the use of primary sources, class discussions, incorporating photographs and paintings, and writing in teaching history. Both the study of history and the teaching of history are multifaceted. The author’s hope in writing this book is to engage new and experienced teachers in thoughtful discourse regarding the teaching and learning of history and to develop lifelong learners of history in the 21st century.