What is History?
The study of History (Minnesota, U.S., and World) helps students to see how people in other times and places have grappled with the fundamental questions of truth, justice, and personal responsibility, to understand that ideas have real consequences, and to realize that events are shaped both by ideas and the actions of individuals.
The study of Minnesota History helps students understand their local communities and become more connected with the culture of people who share their geographic location. Minnesota History also helps students understand how the history of their state fits into national and international narratives, and how the events in Minnesota’s past are at once unique and similar to the events in other places.
The study of U.S. History helps students understand the democratic traditions of the United States and how these traditions were established and how they continue in the present. U.S. History also helps students understand that the United States is a nation built on ordinary and extraordinary individuals united in an on-going quest for liberty, freedom, justice, and opportunity. It helps students understand how much courage and sacrifice it has taken to win and keep liberty and justice.
The study of World History helps students understand the major developments in the civilizations of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. World History helps students recognize the “common problems of all humankind, and the increasing interactions among nations and civilizations that have shaped much of human life” and how individuals and nations have successfully or unsuccessfully met the challenges of human nature and their environment.
Why study History?
Minnesota History should be studied because the unique shared history of a group of people with varying backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences illuminates the stories of a student’s community of neighborhood, city and state.
American History should be studied because, as Kenneth T. Jackson - chair of the Bradley Commission on History in the Schools - states, “Unlike many other peoples, Americans are not bound together by a common religion or a common ethnicity. Instead, our binding heritage is a democratic vision of liberty, equality, and justice. If Americans are to preserve that vision and bring it to daily practice, it is imperative that all citizens understand how it was shaped in the past, when events and forces either helped or obstructed it, and how it has evolved down to the circumstances and political discourses of our own time.”
World History should be studied because of the increasing global connections in the areas of commerce, politics, technology and communications, transportation, and migration and resettlement. These increasing connections make an understanding of the history of the world’s many cultures especially important in fostering the respect and understanding required in a connected and interdependent world.
National History Education Clearinghouse: http://teachinghistory.org/
National Council for History Education: http://www.nche.net/
- American History Resource Center. Includes primary documents, essays, maps, images and timelines for time periods in American History, from pre-Columbian to the present. Time periods are divided in small increments. Also includes fun interactive simulations, similar to "Choose your own adventure" stories. http://www.wadsworth.com/history_d/special_features/ext/am_hist/AmerHis-...
- "America's History in the Making": Professional Development Course from Annenberg Media. Includes units from Pre-Columbian to Global America, historical skills interactive, historical content and resource archives. http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/
- Best of History Web Sites, an EdTechTeacher.org resource. Comprehensive, annotated list of links to history resources, archives and teaching ideas, categorized by time period, from pre-history to modern history. Also includes sites on oral history, maps and games. http://www.besthistorysites.net/
- "Bridging World History": Professional Development Course from Annenberg Media. Includes units from Human Migration to Globalization, world history activities, and an audio glossary. http://www.learner.org/courses/worldhistory/
- Center for History and New Media, George Mason University. Provides links to lesson plans, archival collections online, and tools to aid in classroom or research activities. Also includes a section about Digital History: merging historical skills and content with digital resources. http://chnm.gmu.edu/
- The History Project, University of California-Davis. Limited collection of teaching resources and articles, but includes some lesson planning resources, an image archive and links. http://historyproject.ucdavis.edu/
- In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience. Covers 13 migrations, from the Transatlantic Slave Trade to Modern African Immigration, with thorough context, images, documents and maps. http://www.inmotionaame.org
- Middle Ground Journal. This is a collection of academic and peer-reviewed essays on various world history subjects. http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/HIS/historyjournal/index.cfm
- National History Education Clearinghouse. Collections of teaching materials, historical content and best practices. Also includes a blog and information on professional development. http://teachinghistory.org
- Organization of American Historians Teaching Tools. Includes links to professional development opportunities, scholarly articles concerning education, and ideas for teaching strategies. http://www.oah.org/teaching_tools/
- "Primary Sources: Workshops in American History": Professional Development Courses from Annenberg Media. Includes eight units on specific topics in American history. Each unit includes primary documents, lectures and activities, classroom applications and resources. Some units also appropriate for other Social Studies disciplines. http://www.learner.org/workshops/primarysources/
- Virtual Jamestown. Website focusing on the Jamestown settlement and historical context and impact of the settlement. Includes educational resources such as primary documents, interactive maps and panoramas, scholarly essays, teaching materials and lesson plans. http://www.virtualjamestown.org/page2.html