Creating a Culture of Ah-Ha Moments - eSeminar with David Zheutlin
Creating a Culture of Ah-Ha Moments
Facilitating Discovery and Realization in the History Classroom
Tuesday, January 14 (4:00 - 5:00 pm)
In an age of easy information (some true, some false), what is the purpose of social studies? Can we create classes that make challenging questions relevant and urgent? How do we inspire conversations that carry into the hallways, the cafeteria, and the home?
Often the history classroom becomes a place to learn facts and information. Textbooks emphasize dates, names, and battles; tests tend to reward memorization. Students seek to parrot the “right” answer.
How might we shift student response from the confirmatory “uh-huh” to the revelatory “ah-ha”? How can teachers inspire students to develop their own conclusions about the past? What if students became co-collaborators in the development of knowledge?
Maybe students demanding to know “what you want me to write” have been asked the wrong questions. Let us discuss how to task students with essential questions and encourage them to work through problems that inch towards deeper truths.
This after-school eSeminar brings teachers into conversation about student discovery in the middle school history classroom. The facilitator will offer a brief essential question workshop followed by forum discussion about uncertainty and understanding. The last fifteen minutes will illuminate methods for leading group projects and presentations that inspire and affirm student theorizing.
David Zheutlin directs the educational program at Brooklyn Youth Sports Club. For seven years, he taught eighth-grade history at Trevor Day School, where he created an inquiry-based medieval history curriculum and served as grade-level dean. He has worked with middle schoolers as a coach, counselor, tutor, and teacher. He is currently designing curriculum that guides students to discover New York City’s past and to wander perceptively through its present. You might find David exploring Brooklyn by bicycle and taking detailed notes.