Heather Pang's Blog

Not the End of year reflections: A year of history and making

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by Heather Pang -

I started this post in May. I worked on it a bit in June. Then I abandoned it, lonely on my computer, until I stumbled on it this morning.  So I finished it off (just a little proofreading) and I share it now, even though we are far from the end of the year, and I don’t know if it will resonate with anyone here in the middle of the crazy beginning of the year season. 

Thinking about making and history at the end of the year.

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Making and National History Day

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by Heather Pang -

In some ways, National History Day (NHD) is rather “old school,” a science fair style research competition for history. I started requiring my students to participate in NHD because I saw the potential for deep research and thought, a good match with our department history “habits of mind” and a great opportunity for students to pick topics that they cared about.

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Just in Time Teacher Learning

Fellow

by Heather Pang -

One of the things I like about letting students decide what they need to make for their projects is how much learning takes place between the moment they say "I want to make a model of the Taj Mahal to show how the architecture reflects the way Shah Jahan wanted to memorialize his wife" and the finished project.  For me, as a teacher, that is when a great deal of learning takes place.

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A little holiday historic making

Fellow

by Heather Pang -

I have some trouble thinking about the 1970s as far back in history, but the White House History twitter feed gave us this gem last week: Betty Ford's holiday card from 1975 included a pattern for a home made holiday orniment, the Clothespin Cardinal.

So, as a historian and a fan of making, I sewed one last week on our "rain day" (feel free to laugh, but we did have a lot of flooding, and some dangerous travel conditions, so call it an overabundance of caution).

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Where is the line?

Fellow

by Heather Pang -

Every teacher in every classroom contemplating a project plan faces the question of how much guidance, how many constraints, how much help to give students. I have been thinking about this problem in particular for history projects where the content is specific, for example the invention of the telegraph and its effects on American society.  But I have also been thinking about it in terms of the larger movement, and the role of kits in teaching and learning.

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