World History: What parallels exist in today’s world when considering human sacrifices?

The more I study and teach history, the more committed I am to notions of history repeating, that humans haven’t changed that much, and that History is the study of the present, not the past.  In Mexican American History I class we recently discussed human sacrifices. No one was willing to sacrifice themselves, so I amContinue reading “World History: What parallels exist in today’s world when considering human sacrifices?”

World History: Has society “evolved,” at all?

At the outset, of course, this is an ethnocentric question and even a human-centric question given definitions and connotations associated with “society” and “evolved.” But, this is an important question… From one perspective, the form of life currently in existence that we call “humans” simply hasn’t been around that long.  In JFK’s famous Moon Speech, heContinue reading “World History: Has society “evolved,” at all?”

Students and their “Beautiful Questions”

Last week in my First Year Seminar classes, we focused on questions. Together with my student, we discussed the difference between “low-level” and “high-level” questions; the difference between who, what, when, and where questions and the how and why questions; and discussed the difference between questions with more or less one right answer and thoseContinue reading “Students and their “Beautiful Questions””

What questions do freshmen have the first week of college?

In my First Year Seminar classes I spent time in three of the four classes (totally forgot in one of them we were having so much fun getting to know each other – bell hooks calls this “engaged pedagogy”) asking them to anonymously write down any question they had about the course, the university, orContinue reading “What questions do freshmen have the first week of college?”

The Wonderful Power of “Name One Thing You Learned Today”

Recently, I have been re-reminded of the power of ending classes with a 5-10 minute discussion where each student names one thing they learned during the lesson that day. The only rule is they can’t name something another student has already mentioned. Rather than doing this as a written quiz/writing assignment, I like to doContinue reading “The Wonderful Power of “Name One Thing You Learned Today””

Backs Adorned with Flags (Followup and Changing Ideas)

Last week I wrote a blog, Backs Adorned with Flags, and after some comments, especially from my blog and twitter buddy Nick, I want to followup on some points. This post isn’t particularly organized, as I am still working on some of these thoughts but promised to get his out soon.   One question I amContinue reading “Backs Adorned with Flags (Followup and Changing Ideas)”

7 Reasons (Academic) History is the Study of the Present

Historians en masse say that History is the study of the past and change over time. This is misguided. While I have previously written about this topic (History, intertextuality, and how Barack Obama has influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., not the other way around and The Nature of History and the History of History),Continue reading “7 Reasons (Academic) History is the Study of the Present”

Continued Conversations and Philosophizing: “What is Texas History?”

Articulating various responses to “What is Texas History” with my students continues to fascinate me, as does teaching and learning more and more Texas History, and I wanted to share a few things in particular that have been on my mind. In my Mexican American History I class (stay with me!), we were recently readingContinue reading “Continued Conversations and Philosophizing: “What is Texas History?””