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Teaching EH in High Schools: Future Possibilities

Sat, April 1, 10:30am to 12:00pm, The Drake Hotel, Parkside

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Abstract

This is an Education Committee panel, and should be scheduled for Saturday morning to avoid conflicts for our moderator and to accommodate teacher attendance.

Participants of this roundtable will discuss their experiences as environmental historians who teach or have taught students at the secondary school level. Participants will also discuss with audience members approaches to teaching environmental history to younger students and the best methods to utilize in such an undertaking. Recent publications by scholars such as Mark Fiege have provided more accessible material for a broader audience, and participants will consider appropriate readings and assignments for secondary students. Additionally, participants will consider recommendations for collaboration with other disciplines and ways to incorporate experiential education into courses. A field trip experience for secondary school teachers in attendance at the annual meeting is being planned, which will be explicitly connected to this roundtable as an example of how teachers could use their local environment as a text and source for understanding the past. The primary goal of this roundtable is to bring together environmental historians who teach at the secondary level and traditional academic historians in order to strategize about infusing high school history teaching with environmental history readings and resources. Participant experiences of teaching EH at the secondary level indicate that such a thematic approach to the study of history often piques a student's interest more than a “traditional” high school class, and the interdisciplinary nature of EH creates a natural appeal to many schools that are currently focused on STEM classes. The Education Committee, which is sponsoring this roundtable, hopes that many attendees will recognize the importance of reaching students early and fostering an interest in not only historical study but also environmental issues, and attend this roundtable discussion.

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