Ditching history textbooks? There are benefits.
History is as complex and diverse as the people who lived it. Yet, in history classes, students are learning one side of the limited number of stories that are curated by a select few. Countless people, places, events and perspectives are left out. What results is a biased and limited version of history, with which most of our students can’t identify.
As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie famously explained, we face a significant danger when we tell only one version of a story. Instead of limiting the scope of history to what’s deemed as “important” by traditional textbooks, let’s introduce students to a multi-layered, more complex version of the past. When we do, we create opportunities for students to see themselves represented in history. And they will engage with the subject in brand new, far more effective ways.
When genealogy research and other untold histories are incorporated into history classes, students see themselves and their own stories represented in their education. They learn about the heroes in their communities and the heroism of their ancestors.
A truly diverse and inclusive history education results. Not only do students learn from the lives and experiences of their own ancestors, they also learn from and about the ancestors of their classmates.
Read five more benefits to this approach on LinkedIn: 5 Benefits to Ditching History Textbooks