TLO 1: Demonstrate an Understanding of at Least One Period or Culture of the Past
Teaching an historical period is both easy and very difficult. Because content knowledge about past societies, processes, peoples and events is vast, we cannot cover it all in a single course. Therefore, every teacher must define the central content to be taught and learned. This chapter discusses principles for selecting content and suggests that the key question is: what do students need to learn? Considering the limited number of teaching hours in the modern university, scaffolding remains an important function of teaching history, helping students to understand central aspects of the period in question. But equally as important, the classroom should be treated as an opportunity to engage the students and to entice them into the world of the past. Drawing on a course on the early modern period taught at a Swedish university, this chapter suggests a number of ways this could be done including strategies such as the crafted use of questions, designing learning activities on difficult content and varying forms for teaching. The aim is to make students active learners.
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