Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School’s Back From Summer: Blogging about Teaching

Edward J. Blum

[This is a crosspost from Religion in American History]

Well, it’s about that time, that delightful and dreadful moment when classes begin again. Unless you are privileged to have a sabbatical or be on fellowship (cough, cough, Matt Sutton you lucky duck, cough, cough), the end of August is when the kids come back and time flies away. Alas, school’s back from summer!

This marks the beginning of my second decade of teaching, and I wanted to try something new not just within my classes, but about my classes. So, I’ve decided to start an interactive blog about teaching the United States history survey. I wanted to work through the changes that I’ve made, give my fellow teachers a platform to post and to discuss their teaching strategies, and to give students an opportunity to see behind the process of teaching and to participate in what is taught. I grabbed one of my favorite colleagues and teachers, Kevin Schultz from the University of Illinois, Chicago, author of a great survey textbook, Hist, and author of the tremendous new monograph Tri-Faith America, to help with the endeavor, and away we go. I invite you to join us over there with your own posts, reflections, thoughts, and considerations.

Religious history has been one of the ways my classes have transformed dramatically – not just the religious content of the course, but also the religious composition of the classroom. When I first taught in Kentucky, it seemed everyone knew what the Bible was. I don’t think that’s the case of my San Diego students. All of our classrooms and contents will be distinct, and I hope you’ll make your way to the blog to help me and others to teach better (or at the very least have some zany fun in the process). Like it or not, school’s back from summer.


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