Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rationale for Studying History

Friend: I am having a discussion with my Education instructor about building a lesson plan.This is a major part of my grade and I am so lost.
UNFHistoryProf (my AIM name): I never did lesson plans, I just read all my life, and came into class and had a general idea what to talk about
Friend: I am supposed to picka Sunshine State standard, then develop a 'rationale' and 'concept maps' from that. I finally begged the lecturer for an example of a 'rationale', and he said "Here's a good rationale:Citizens need to be able to interpret the relationship of geography on Florida's history because this relationship has influenced and will influence their lives as well as the lives of those in their communities. "
UNFHistoryProf: History helps people know where they are in time as a map helps them know where they are in space
Friend: Now, this is where I get totally flustered. He also goes on to say,"Mmmmm.... with that rationale, we could investigate Spanish exploration, tourism (early types, e.g., springs in the late 1800's to Walt Disney), animal conversation (e.g., alligators (hunting), bald eagles (pesticides), bears/panthers (human efforts to build highway underpasses as a result of population growth in S. Florida)), population by cultures (e.g., Hispanic, Minorcan, Greek), sports (even baseball's spring training location fits here)..."
UNFHistoryProf: The study of history encourages the distillation of webs of interpretation from a seeming infinite number of unrelated facts. History is about creating an histoire (French: story) out of an istoria (Greek: investigation) and doing both well. It's also a kind of intellectual masturbation for geeks. It saves on KY for those who have been circumcised......

1 comment:

Jason said...

Dear Paul,

I could not agree more with your interpretation of history.

I can feel your friend's pain. As a Social Studies teacher in WI, I have to spend endless hours planning lessons that meet state standards. It dulls the mind and kills creativity.

I have read your blog for about 2 months. You do an excellent job. I wish you luck on your job search.