TED: Mathematics and History revisited

As a gamer and game designer and game player, I approve this message.

(I first saw this video at Assorted Stuff, rather than the main TED.com website)

We need better instruction in mathematics.  There was the recent story of a school in the tampa bay area.  They locked up their math books, and changed their entire style of teaching.

*I* need to change my entire style of teaching, too, when it comes to History.  I’ve got to stop thinking of my assigned textbooks as the key tools for the study of history, and start thinking about how to turn my students’ brains into the key tools for the study of history.   Using tech, or books, follows the desire to ask and answer questions.  And reading summaries of summaries of summaries of someone else’s answer to those questions is not what history should be.

We tend to think of classes in constitutional law, political science, and sociology as the capstones of American social studies courses.  But maybe we should start with primary sources, law, economics and map analysis, on the one side, and making archives of local data — in the form of pictures and text   Cheap to make the change, could involve kids in the histories of their town, and changes from teacher-based classroom to student-centered.  Worth considering.

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