Workshop encourages teachers to ‘think like a historian’

Dec. 18, 2007

Teachers seeking to rejuvenate their history curriculum and reinvigorate student learning within a research-based, standards-linked critical-thinking framework will want to register for the seventh annual Wisconsin Treasures workshop, "Thinking Like a Historian," at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Workshop attendees will be introduced to this methodology and the new accompanying publication, "Thinking Like a Historian: Rethinking History Instruction." In addition, attendees will be among the first to review "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story," the new fourth-grade textbook, co-authored by Bobbie Malone and Kori Oberle (in print spring 2008) from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Malone will be the key presenter at the workshop scheduled for Tuesday, March 4, at UW-Madison's Memorial Union. Workshop participants will receive a copy of the "Thinking Like a Historian" publication and will be able to preorder the forthcoming textbook.

The "Thinking Like a Historian" methodology incorporates both historical process and historical categories of inquiry that working historians use to interpret the past. Applicable at all K-12 grade levels, "Thinking Like a Historian" was developed and classroom tested through a Teaching American History partnership of the UW-Whitewater history department, the Wisconsin Historical Society and CESA 2. It empowers students to engage in history as investigation, rather than recapitulation of historical events.

Through their encounter with "Wisconsin, Our State, Our Story," students learn the build skills in vocabulary development and historical literacy as they gain a visually appealing and mind-engaging introduction to state history. Each topic brings together a selection of authentic materials that provide concrete historical evidence, including primary documents, artifacts, historical photographs, maps, charts and other graphics. The accompanying teacher's edition provides literacy strategies to accommodate a wide variety of learning styles and abilities. A separate activity book contains reproducible pages, while assessment materials and additional activities and resources will be online. "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story" will provide a core that integrates all of the Wisconsin Historical Society's other resources, publications and programs for fourth-grade classrooms.

To register, call (608) 262-0810.