Together with my students, we have been examining the rise of different types of fascism around the world in the interwar era. We have studied the social and political events and contexts, as well as the personal background of some of the authoritarian leaders that rose to power in those times in different countries. The new unit that we are just beginning is The Second World War. Students will try to understand what circumstances led some countries to support or oppose participation in the war, as well as how the civilians were as much a part of a war effort as soldiers/combatants.
I always strive to help my students think like historians. It means learning to ask questions, critiquing or having a critical look at sources of information, considering multiple perspectives and narratives, judging the quality of evidence, and finally, forming reasoned opinions. In our classes, we use investigations and questions to frame our own inquiry. We scaffold and develop new knowledge based on previous learning. We incorporate historical sources that are used to back up students’ own claims. We practice interpreting and bringing arguments of diverse historical narratives. This is my emphasis on helping students to communicate about concepts, historical events, and processes, as well as on big ideas.