August 2019 marked the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of enslaved Africans on the shores of nowadays United States (US). In order to shed light on the immense importance of this occurrence, the New York Times (NYT) produced an issue of their magazine about the event and its aftermath, the 1619 Project. The magazine consisted of more... Continue Reading →
Even though the end of the academic year is almost here, the most intense lessons were during the last weeks of the year. One of the topics in the IB history curriculum is authoritarian states, of which Hitler and Nazi Germany were discussed in my lessons. Last year, I taught the same syllabus, but I was disappointed with lack of depth in the lessons. Hence, I wanted to make sure that the outcome of the lessons series was more meaningful, rather than "just knowing" what happened. Therefore, the big idea that I wanted to convey was the role of the bystander; the person who witnesses but does nothing to stop it. To what extent is that allowing for atrocities to happen? The tools I used for teaching this idea were the Universe of Obligation and The Pyramid of Hate.
Ever since I started listening to the podcast Queer America from Teaching Tolerance, I realised how little time I spend on incorporating LGBTQ issues in my lessons. Therefore I wanted to do better and taught a lesson about “What makes a Family?” in grade 6, as a part of a unit about early human beings. This lesson is an example of how LGBTQ topics easily can become a part of one's curriculum.
The Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU) was a resistance movement founded in 1934 to address the issues created by the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which was a part of the New Deal. This act, aimed to increase prices of food, backfired by having landlords remove tenants from their lands and keeping the subsidies, given by the government, for themselves. The Southern Tenant Farmers Union protested against these measurements by organising themselves, writing protest letters and going on strike. The union consisted of as well black and white people, of women and men. By discussing this union in the classroom, class, race and gender are being discussed, making the Southern Tenant Farmers Union a prime example of an intersectional topic.
Teaching skills like critical thinking, researching, and collaborating is one of the most important task of education nowadays. Sometimes it is difficult to fully focus on these important competences, since the curriculum is full and expectations high. One of the topics of the IB history exam is the "Move to Global War", for which the Japanese expansion between 1931-1945 is a case study. I designed a mock trial based on an imaginary prosecution of the Japanese emperor Hirohito to focus on as well skills as content.