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Blogging On History, Science, and Education

History as an Intellectual (Idea-centered) Discipline

You’ve heard about history, it’s that dull subject that is all names and dates. Umm, avoiding that scenario (David McCullough has called it the “punishment” of textbooks) isn’t difficult. You just focus on people and ideas. That’s what Colonial Williamsburg does in a small book titled, “The Idea of America.” Intended for high school students, it zeroes in on the ideas and values that “shaped our republic and hold the key to our future,” clearly delineating key ideas and conflicts that keep appearing on our national landscape.
For me Williamsburg is a national treasure; I love visiting and even though I’ve been there many times, I always find it stimulating. The town and CW’s publications are great resources for parents and teachers. Check out their Electronic Field Trips, an example to sign up for is “Founders or Traitors?” It will give you and your students some intellectual meat to chew on. Go to www.history.org/teach for more information. Another CW source: kids.gov.
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