Tell Me About Your History Classes

I would like to hear your thoughts.

In these unsettled times, one of my ongoing long-term activities is a book project related to teaching. If it works out, the book I’m developing may help teachers overcome some of the particular challenges of presenting history in ways that students (in secondary school and college) find engaging and intellectually satisfying. It’s still a bit early to get more specific than that because I would like your help making sure this project is relevant to students.

As part of my early background research, I’m hoping to collect comments from adults who have taken history and social studies classes at some point in their lives. Over the years, I’ve spoken informally with a lot of people who have definite opinions about the history they had in school or college. Now I would like to collect some of those opinions more systematically.

I want to know what your experiences were like, what you think your teachers did well or poorly, and how things could have gone better. Maybe you had great experiences; maybe you had terrible experiences; maybe your experiences were neutral or mixed. I want to hear your thoughts in all of these cases!

If you’d like to help me out, please consider responding to this brief questionnaire. (The link will take you to a Google form.)

Please answer as many or as few of the questions as seem relevant to you. This is an opportunity for you to talk about your experiences, not a scientific survey. Your thoughts can be completely anonymous if you wish, too.

Thank you for your contribution to this project! And please consider circulating the link to the questionnaire among other people you think might enjoy participating.

Help Students in the Crisis

If you’ve found Blue Book Diaries useful in the past, I’d like to make a special request. Could you spare $5 for La Salle University’s Student Emergency Fund?

La Salle, my current employer, is located in a poor part of Philadelphia. While dealing with serious financial challenges of its own, it serves many students from vulnerable populations. Many of them want to enter careers in nursing, social work, education, and other fields crucial to the resilience of their communities.

Without help, some of our students may not be able to complete their college degrees due to the COVID-19 emergency and its economic fallout. As I write this, Philadelphia is bracing to be hit hard by the pandemic.

Continue reading “Help Students in the Crisis”