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What Teachers Do

May 23, 2016

Tags: A Quote To Consider, Karl Popper

"We cannot make life perfect. What I believe we can do instead is make life a little less terrible and a little less unjust in each generation."
Karl Popper, in a speech to the Institut des Arts, Brussels, 1949

Why Study History?

May 19, 2016

Tags: Education, social studies, history, Gagnon, NCHE prize

"When students and school boards ask, 'Why history? What are we supposed to be getting out of this?' The best answer is still that one word: judgment. We demand it of all professionals: doctors, lawyers, chefs, and quarterbacks. And we need it most in the profession of citizen, which, like it or not, exercise it for not, we are all born into."

That quote is from Paul Gagnon, a history professor at UMass (who died in 2005). His words are increasingly relevant, especially in this country, as we become increasingly diverse. Paul and I talked of writing a world history together. I was to do the ancient world, he would begin with the Renaissance. Wish it could have happened. Paul's memory is honored in a history prize given by the NCHE. As for my take on why history? It makes you think and gives you something to think about.




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Reading Science Stories
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