9 ways to be certain students will begin loving history.

1. Teach history, not prerequisites.

2. Be enthusiastic about teaching, history, and students. Be friendly and caring.

3. Make history relevant to today’s issues and concerns.

4. Instead of only lecturing (even in big classes) use a combination of interactive lessons, music and film clips, and in-class individual and group work. Also avoid simply repeating the textbook.

5. Avoid an over-emphasis on dates and details.

6. Show students how anything and everything is history.

7. Challenge students. Teach and model critical thinking. Students will rise to the challenge and will perform better than if the material were “easy.”

8. Have students, even freshmen, “become” historians by providing opportunities to analyze primary sources and engage in historiographical debates.

9. Always change and grow as the professor.

Companion piece to 9 ways to be certain students will continue hating history.

Please be sure and check out my other articles published here and Inside Higher Ed. I have articles about teaching aimed at students and professors generally and more specifically for those in History or Student Success courses.


Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives


5 replies

  1. Learning History in elementary school, I tuned out and my eyes glazed over hearing dates. I didn’t pay attention. It was one of my worst subjects. What got me to love history was discovering one of my favorite authors and his books. I’ll refer you to the two I started with, and I think it’s just these two which’ll work, both by James Michener: The Covenant, and Hawaii. Try it. I betcha it’ll work for you (whomever), too.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. 9 ways to be certain students will continue hating history. « Andrew Joseph Pegoda, A.B.D.
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