Why Teach History?

A Website for James L. Smith

Characteristics of a Good History Teacher
by James L. Smith


A GOOD HISTORY TEACHER …
1. Is knowledgeable about history and loves learning history.

2. Is able to explain the importance of studying history.

3. Provides students with an in-depth study of selected topics and avoids teaching history as a laundry list of information.

4. Deals constantly with the relation between fact and conjecture.

5. Carries significant historical themes and questions from the beginning to the present day.

6. Is able to deal with controversial issues.

7. Offers students opportunities for active learning and questioning.

8. Uses primary source materials including diaries, letters, newspapers, photos, music, clothing, works of art, and other historical artifacts.

9. Engages students with historical literature and biography.

10. Covers course content in the time available.

11. Explains to students what has been left out of the course and why.

12. Helps students develop basic academic skills.

13. Asks questions that require analytical thinking and problem solving.

14. Uses diverse strategies for teaching history.

15. Presents a study of people from all backgrounds and conditions, as well as an understanding of what binds all of us together as human beings.


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