History teaching that makes a lasting impact

Traditional fact-based lectures and textbooks often leave students disengaged and uninspired, devoid of lasting learning that can shape their future citizenship and critical thinking. In his new book “Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?” veteran history teacher Bruce Lesh invites us to move toward a more investigatory approach in which students learn, utilize, and retain the thinking processes of historians as they gain important knowledge of the past.

Lesh presents a series of lessons in American history that serve as exemplars of how to generate historical thinking with students in key areas such as causality, multiple perspectives, empathy, contrasting interpretations, and intent/motivation. Manageable steps and in-the-trenches advice will be welcomed by teachers who want to escape the “confines of coverage” and move from history as memory to a question-centered approach that engages students and teachers alike.

“Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?” will be available in print next month, and you can now preview the entire book online! You can also read an article by Bruce published in the OAH Magazine of History by Oxford Journals.

Add comment April 21st, 2011

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