Conference links high school classrooms to college research
by Steve Charles
April 21, 2006
A group of Indiana high school history teachers from across the state are meeting with Wabash faculty and students on campus in a groundbreaking effort to explore how the latest research in world history can be incorporated into the classroom.
"Our goal is to forge connections between college level research and the teaching of world history on the ground," said Assistant Professor of History Rick Warner.
Warner, with history department chair Stephen Morillo and teacher education professors Michele Pittard and Tammy Turner-Vorbeck, is a co-organizer of "World History and the Liberal Arts: Connecting with Secondary Teaching."
"So much has happened in this field in the past decade," Warner said, "and not all of it has made its way into the high schools."
"In a world of increasing interconnectedness and interdependence, we who teach young people from 12 to 22 cannot afford to ignore the impact of global issues on our own nation’s history, its politics, its religions, and in our own daily lives," Morillo said.
Students from the College's Craft and Theory of World History course were among the first presenters at the conference.
"This sort of class, where students who will be teaching history essentially study the philosophy of history is a rare thing," Warner said. Other Wabash students will present micro-teaching workshops Friday afternoon to show ways they're using the latest research in their student teaching.
"I think this conference will help me elaborate upon and enhance what I'm already doing in the classroom," said veteran Benton Central history teacher Ed Robson after a morning session focusing on connections and comparisons between world cultures, traditions, and their histories. "I always try to find a theme—such as "power" or "revolutions"—and organize the class around those, because it makes a better connection with kids. I'm hoping to find more of those connections and themes to draw them in."
The two-part conference will conclude in June, when high school teachers will return to campus with their own micro-teaching presentations.
Zach Webb ’08 discusses David Christian's book Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History
Jesse James ’08 enjoys a lighter moment during the discussion.