Junior College

Using Film in Historical Inquiry: As Medium, as Evidence, for Empathy

"Though often portrayed as a clichéd example of poor history pedagogy, there is now ample research and numerous models of best practice to support the use of film in an inquiry-based history curriculum. In this article I present best practice models and practical examples of using film as a medium to engage students in inquiry."

Geography Fieldwork is Not Mission Impossible

"Geography teachers face numerous difficulties in conducting fieldwork for their students. While the national curriculum is shifting towards a field inquiry approach, some pre-existing problems remain, such as the issues of large class sizes, the lack of suitable sites due to our highly urbanised landscape, and teachers who do not have an understanding of the role fieldwork plays in constructing meaning in Geography. Having an understanding of how geographical knowledge has evolved will allow teachers to adopt meaningful strategies in the field in order to maximise the construction of geographical concepts and learning of geographical skills. In this paper, I propose a simple matrix that identifies purpose and strategies as two key goals that can help teachers work towards the implementation of a meaningful fieldwork programme for students. "

Research into Practice: Understanding the Vietnam War from the Communists' Perspective

"Most of us are familiar with the narrative of the Vietnam War as it is commonly told in history textbooks: (1) the United States got involved because they were afraid of the possibility of a domino effect of Southeast Asian countries falling to communism; (2) there was a huge public outcry back in the United States as American casualties increased dramatically and the horrors of war were shown in every home; (3) the US eventually withdrew its troops; and (4) North and South Vietnam were reunited. But in this unjustifiably sketchy summary of the typical portrayal of the Vietnam War, it is evident that most students of history only look at materials that, ironically, the losers of this war provide. American versions of these historical events often point to the failings of the South Vietnamese regime (the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem), the failed US containment policy or domestic opposition as the reasons behind the fall of Vietnam. "

Research into Practice: Tuning in to the “Chorus of History” Through the Use of Oral History in the Classroom

"Using oral histories in history and social studies classrooms can highlight the fact that historical sources are authored and contain particular assumptions, biases, and perspectives about the world. They require critical evaluation to understand why people might have said what they said, why they might view particular events or issues in certain ways, the kinds of insights, emotions, and attitudes they have about what happened in the past, and the reasons they give for acting in the ways they did. Because oral histories have become more widely available and utilized due to electronic and digital means of preservation and access, they can be easily used with students of all ages. To learn more about the use of oral history in the classroom and consider how students can work with oral sources, I reviewed the work and ideas of Associate Professor Kevin Blackburn, a proponent of using oral histories in classrooms."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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