As schools reopen, Lauren Brown revisits the essentials of history teaching in a time when authoritarianism is in the air. Central are not only caring about individuals in the next generation but also being ‘keepers of the meaning’ when established values are challenged.
Author: Lauren S. Brown
When Lauren Brown left her history classroom and became a teacher educator, she always shared a page of advice when pre-service teachers finished her course. Three years after returning to middle school, Brown updates her tips with fresh insights from the front lines.
In teaching history, how much weight should we give to Logos (the facts), Pathos (the human impact), and Ethos (the morality) as we try to engage students in the meaning of great events? Middle school history teacher Lauren Brown reflects on her WWII/Holocaust unit.
Lauren Brown and her middle schoolers are in the sweet spot of the school year – settled after the holidays and with spring break in the distance – a perfect place to deepen learning built on established relationships and student skills developed over past months. Snow days help, too.
Lauren Brown’s eighth grade classes are undergoing a “writing revolution” since she discovered the ideas and strategies of Judith Hochman. Thanks to writing templates and explicit instruction, students are beginning to write more complex answers to history questions.
There’s no perfect teaching recipe that balances patriotism and civic responsibility, says middle school history teacher Lauren Brown. But if educators attempt to ignore the low points in America’s past, they’ll insult students’ intelligence and lose their trust.
We all want our students to contribute more to class by doing more of the talking. But getting kids to participate effectively is easier said than done. Lauren Brown applies Erik Palmer’s PVLEGS and Dave Stuart Jr.’s pop-up debates to help students grow as speakers.
How do we overcome the perception that history is boring? Connecting the past directly to students’ life experiences is a flawed strategy, history educator Lauren Brown believes. Teachers should focus less on “relevant” and more on “meaningful” and “interesting.”
After many years teaching high school & college students, Lauren Brown re-entered a middle school classroom last fall as a full-time social studies teacher. She describes her delight with young adolescents who greeted history with enthusiasm and deep discussions.
What works to help 7th graders understand the US Constitution? Former HS teacher Lauren S. Brown got a crash course in teaching the document as she returned to full-time teaching this fall. Slowing the pace, using the primary source, and blending in current events all helped.