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Course Syllabus

EDUC 5633- Methods in Teaching History at a Secondary Level

School of Education St. Thomas University

Winter 2016

Instructor Information

Sharon Murray, PhD

Office Location: 320 Brian Mulroney Hall

Telephone: (506) 452-0473


Office Hours: TTH1:30-3:30pm or by appointment

Course Identification

Course Location: BMH 107

Class Times: TTH 10:30-12:20

Course Description/Overview

This course is designed to introduce you to methods and strategies of teaching history at the secondary level. The course focuses on several topics and themes such as recent debates about the teaching of Canadian, European, and world history; creating active learning opportunities based on primary resources; methods of historical inquiry; curriculum planning; and the use of technology in teaching and in student research. Students taking this course should have a background in historical content or be willing to research historical topics. Teaching methods involve some lecture, classroom discussion, and collaborative work on teaching resources.

Course Resources

Required Course Text

There is no one essential text for the course. I will be selecting excerpts from a variety of texts. I will provide bibliographic references and you can choose the text that best suits your teaching needs.
Course Website(s)

Edmodo Enrolment Key: 7quvg6
Some photocopy fees may be required as well as materials to construct projects and presentations.


Assessment consists of information collected that is used to determine your standing in the course, help you think about how you learn, and how to improve your learning. A letter grade will be generated to indicate your standing in the course.

Grading System



Grade Pts.










Nearly Excellent



Very Good






Fairly Good

C Range





Minimally Acceptable





Incomplete; given only when a student is unable to complete a segment of the course because of circumstances beyond the student’s control. It must be made up within a specified amount of time or the grade becomes a failure (F).

SOE & Course Policies

School of Education Attendance Policy

Attendance is expected at all classes. You are responsible for meeting this obligation. You must notify the instructor when you expect to be, or have been, absent from class for any reason. It is the instructor’s prerogative to determine when your academic standing is affected by an absence or absences. You will receive a letter of warning in writing if you are in danger of being dismissed from this course for lack of attendance. You must notify the instructor, the Chair of the School of Education, and the Registrar's Office if you are absent from classes for serious medical or compassionate reasons. 

Course Policy: An initial absence should be discussed with a fellow student so that important activities, work and discussions are somehow replaced. The second and subsequent absences should be discussed with the instructor. Class content cannot be pre-packaged and given to read at your leisure. You need to be in class and contribute to class activities.
School of Education Policy on Completed Assignments

You are required to have all assignments completed and submitted by the last day of each Bachelor of Education academic term. Failure to do so will delay the start of your field placement and may jeopardize your professional certification.

Course Policy: It is expected that all assignments will be handed in on time. It is not possible for class presentations and other in-class work to be "made up". Any incomplete work will effect your evaluation. No assignments will be accepted by email. Submit assignments as requested by .pdf to Edmodo or posted as a .doc to the wall.

University Policies

Academic regulations and procedures are governed by University policy. This is a link to all the St. Thomas University policies:

If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this class or that requires an accommodation, you must notify the Coordinator of Services for Student Accessibility during the first week of classes so that the appropriate arrangements are put in place.

Course Learning Outcomes & Details on Tasks Connected to those Outcomes

Outcome # 1: Strategies for Teaching & Learning History - (60%)


  1. Keep an interactive notebook of the work of the course – see for a sample of a Grade 6 Class. I can creating a weebly or wikispacepage to contain my notebook. Reference:

  2. I can prepare teaching strategies relevant to the New Brunswick curriculum based on the big six historical thinking skills.

  3. I can work collaboratively with others, respecting and gaining knowledge from the multiple perspectives of your colleagues.

For details see Edmodo Folder called Teaching Strategies.

Due Dates: Flexible dates as determined by the progress of the course.

Outcome # 2: Knowing & Understanding History by Making Choices: Applying the Benchmarks for Historical Thinking (20%)

  1. I can choose a historical incident from the vast array of choices that I think is critical or important to our understanding of the past.

  2. I can build a text-based case for the significance/relevance of this event and effects -causes and consequences and the evidence that supports my decision.

  3. I can read cases and make a judgment about significance based only in the evidence presented.

  4. I can debate the merits of your choices using the evidence provided to support the event’s significance as well as the perspectives and moral judgments that are connected to this choice.

  5. I can transfer this strategy to my teaching as a way to engage students in a topic of study, help develop debating skills, and consensus building in a collaborative environment.

See Making a Choice folder in Edmodo for criteria and evaluation rubric.

Tentative Due Dates

January 30 (Saturday @ Noon) – Final Making a Choice posted to Edmodo wall

February 6 (Saturday @Noon) – Reading & Evaluation of all choices Complete

February 11 – Consensus Debate

Outcome # 3: The Scholarship of History Teaching- Close Readings & Socratic Seminars (20%)

  1. I can discuss and reflect on the views of authors as well as engage in a critical discussion of articles with your colleagues.

  2. I can complete an active and close reading activity for one of the seminars and be a seminar leader.

  3. I can transfer these seminar strategies to my own teaching in terms of encouraging student higher order questioning, critical thinking, and collegial discussions.

  4. I can ask relevant questions, depict the content, or provide a conceptual diagram regarding the views presented by authors of articles on some of the challenges faced by high school history and social studies teachers.

For copies of readings, schedule of seminars, and roles for seminar leaders and participants please consult the Seminar Readings folder in Edmodo.

Tentative Class Schedule

Jan 12

What is history?

Reading for Next Class: What makes a good history essay? Assessing historical Aspects of argumentative writing. Located on NCSS site.

Jan 14

Historical Significance

Jan 19

Historical Significance & Socratic Seminars

For Next Class:

Levistik, Linda. (2000). Articulating the silences: Teachers’ and adolescents’ conceptions of historical significance.

Jan 21

Evidence in Teaching History

Seminar – Historical Significance

Jan 26

Cause and Consequence

For Next Class:

Woodcock, James. (). Does the linguistic release the conceptual? Helping year 10 to improve their causal reasoning. The Historical Association. Accessed from

Jan 28
Cause and Consequence
For Jan 30 @ Noon: Final Making a Choice posted to Edmodo wall. Begin reading others.

Feb 2

Time Continuity & Change & Perspectives

For Next Class:

Loewen, James W. (2010). How and when did people get here? Teaching What Really Happened, pp. 103-122. Teachers College Press.

Feb 4


For Feb 6 @ Noon: Reading & Evaluation of all choices Complete

Feb 9

Perspectives & Choices Decisions

For Next Class:

Clark, Anna. (2004). History teaching, historiography, and the politics of pedagogy in Australia. Theory and Research in Social Education, 32(3), pp.379-396. College and University Faculty Assembly of National Council for the Social Studies.

Feb 16

Moral Judgment

For Next Class:

Boix-Mansilla, Veronica. (2000). Historical understanding: Beyond the past and into the present. In Stearns, Peter N & Wineburg, Sam (Editors). Knowing teaching & learning history: National and international perspectives. New York University Press.

Feb 11

Consensus Debate


Feb 18

Moral Judgment

Feb 23

Moral Judgment

For Next Class:

Woelders, Adam. (2007). Using film to conduct historical inquiry with middle school students. The History teacher, 40(3). Society for History Education.

Feb 25

Writing Historical Fiction, Film, Cartoons, Graphic Novels.


Mar 1

Canadian History

Mar 3

Extra Day for Catch-up

Reference List for EDUC 5633

Best Reference Texts

Denos, Mike & Case Roland. (2006). Teaching about historical thinking. The Critical Thinking Consortium, University of British Columbia.

Mandell, Nikki & Malone, Bobbie. (2007). Thinking like a historian: Rethinking history instruction. Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

***Sexias, Peter & Morton, Tom. (2013). The big six historical thinking concepts. Nelson Education Ltd.

Wineburg, Sam & Martin, Daisy & Monte-Sano, Chauncey. (2011). Reading history like a historian: Teaching literacy in middle and high school classrooms. Teachers College Press, Columbia University.

Websites for Teaching History

The Critical Thinking Consortium:

Canadian Primary Sources in the Classroom

Canada’s History

Canada’s War Museum

Stanford History Education Group:

National History Education Clearinghouse:

World History For Us All:

World History Matters:
Socratic Circle
Copeland, Matt. (20005). Socratic circles: Fostering critical and creative thinking in middle and high schools. Stenhouse Publishers, Portland, Maine.
Moeller, Victor J. & Moeller, Marc V. (2002). Socratic seminars and literature circles for middle and high school English. Eye on Education, Larchmont, NY.


Bain, R. B. (2005). "They thought the world was flat?": Applying the principles of how

people learn in teaching high school history. In J. Bransford & S. Donovan (Eds.),

How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom (pp.

179-214). Washington: The National Academies Press.

Counsell, C. (2004). Looking through a Josephine-Butler-shaped window: focusing

pupils' thinking on historical significance. Teaching History, 114(March), 30-36.

Myers, J. (2004). Tripping over the levels: Experiences from Ontario. Teaching History,

115(June), 52-59.

Sandwell, R. (2003). Reading beyond bias: Using historical documents in the secondary

classroom. McGill Journal of Education, 38(1), 168-186.

Seixas, P. (2004). Making sense of the past in a multicultural classroom. In R. Case & P.

Clark (Eds.), The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies (pp. 63-170). Vancouver:

Pacific Educational Press.

Seixas, P., & Peck, C. (2004). Teaching historical thinking. In A. Sears & I. Wright

(Eds.), Challenges and Prospects for Canadian Social Studies (pp. 109-117).

Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Werner, W. (2004). Towards visual literacy. In A. Sears & I. Wright (Eds.), Challenges

and Prospects for Canadian Social Studies (pp. 202-215). Vancouver: Pacific

Educational Press.

Texts Referred to in Class
Baker, Nicholas. (2008). Human Smoke: The beginnings of World War II, the end of civilization. Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y.
Beah, Ishmael. (2007). A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier. Sarah Crichton Books, NY.
Beare, Emma. (2009). 501 must-know speeches. Bounty Books, London.
Boraks-Nemetz, Lillian & Watts, Irene N. (2003). Tapestry of hope. Tundra Books, Canada.
Brown, Chester. (1999). Louis Riel: A comic-strip biography. Drawn and Quarterly Publications, Montreal, PQ.

Chaline, Eric. (2009). History’s worst inventions and the people who made them. New Burlington Books, London, UK.

Cowley, Robert, Editor. (2001). What if? Eminent historians imagine what might have been. Berkley Books, NY.
Cowley, Robert, Editor. (1999). What if? The world’s foremost military historians imagine what might have been. Berkley Books, NY.
Cross, Robin. (2012) 50 events you really need to know: history of war. Quercus, London, UK.
D’Epiro, Peter. (2010). The book of firsts: 150 world-changing people and events from Caesar Augustus to the Internet. Anchor Books, Toronto, ON.
DiChristina, Mariette, Editor. (2010) World changing ideas: Ten thoughts, trends and other technologies that have the power to transform lives. Scientific American, December 2010, 303(6). Scientific American.
Filipovic, Salata & Challenger, Melanie. (2006). Stolen voices: People’s war diaries, from World War I to Iraq. Penguin Books.
Gifford, Clive. (2008). 10 leaders who changed the world. Kingfisher, NY.
Hefner, Andrew. (2006). A graphic biography: Malcolm X. Hill and Wang, NY.
Hackett Fisher, David. (2009). Champlain’s dream. Vintage Canada Edition.
Hunt, Patrick. (2007). Ten discoveries that rewrote history. Penguin Books Ltd.
Jacobson, Sid & Colon, Ernie. (2008). After 9/11: America’s war on terror (2001-). Hill and Wang, NY.
Jacobson, Sid & Colon, Ernie. (2009). A graphic biography: Che. Hill and Wang, NY.
Levitt, Steven D. & Dubner, Stephen J. (2005). Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything. William Morrow, Harper Collins publishers. (Chapter 1- What do school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Chapter 2 – How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents? Chapter 6 – Perfect Parenting, Part II or: Would a Roshanda by any other name smell as sweet?)
Loewen, James W. (2010). Teaching what really happened: How to avoid the tyranny of textbooks and get students excited about doing history. Teachers College Press, New York, NY. (Chapters 5 - How and When Did People Get Here? & Chapter 6 - Why did Europe win?)
Mann, Charles C. (2006). 1491: New revelations of the Americas before Columbus. Vintage Books, Random House, NY.
Montefiore, Simon Sebag, Editor. (2005). Speeches that changed the world. Quercus Publishing.
Nabokov, Vladimir. (1967). Speak, memory: An autobiography revisited. Vintage Books, NY.

Page, Judith Klein. (2008). 1000 events that shaped the world. National Geographic

Paris, Erna. (2000). Long shadows: Truth, lies and history. Alfred A. Knopf Canada, Toronto, ON.
Rosenkrantz, Linda. (2003). Telegram: Modern history as told through more than 400 witty, poignant, and revealing telegrams. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, New York, N.Y.
Satrapi, Marjane. (2003). Persepolis: The story of a childhood. Pantheon Books.
Spiegelman, Art. (1973). Maus: A survivor’s tale. Pantheon Books, NY.

Spilling, Michael, Project Editor. (2010). Battles that changed history: Key battles that decided the fate of nations. Amber Books, London, UK.

Strolley, Richard B., Editor (1999). Life: Our century in pictures for young people. Little Brown and Company, NY.
Tarpinian, Gary, Director. (2011). 100 years that shook the world: Great events of the 20th century. Video 3 DVD Collection, Image Entertainment.
Trottier, Maxine. (2003). Dear Canada: Alone in an untamed land: The filles du Roi diary of Helene St. Onge. Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Piven, Joshua & Borgenicht, David & Wagner, Marchant & Melissa. (2006). The worst-case scenario survival handbook: History. Chronicle Books, San Francisco.
Wiesel, Elie. (1958). Night. Hill and Wang, NY.
Williams, Hywel. (2011). Days that changed the world: the 50 defining events of world history. Quercus, London.
Wright, Ronald. (2004). An illustrated short history of progress. House of Anansi Press, Toronto, On.
Zimmerman, Dwight Jon & Vansant, Wayne. (2009). The Vietnam War: A graphic history. Hill and Wang, NY.


Black, John Frances, Director. (2007). Lustig. (Carrying haunting memories from time spent in a concentration camp, a man seeks out the surviving members of the Lustig family. He brings a secret to their doorstep that only the strength and courage of the deceased allows him to reveal.) Short Film, 17 minutes.

Ferroukhi, Ismael, Director. (2012). Free men. ((French: Les hommes libres tells the largely untold story about the role that Muslims played in the French resistance and as rescuers of Jews during the German occupation (1940-1944).
Gilmor, Don. (2009). Kanata. Penguin Group, Toronto, ON.
Grimes, Nikki. (2002). Talkin’ about Bessie: The story of aviator Elizabeth Coleman. Orchard Books.
Hesse, Karen. (2001). Witness. Scholastic Inc.

Keery, Paul. (2012). Canada at war: A graphic history of World War Two. Douglas and McIntyre, Canada.

Polanski, Roman, Director. (2002). The Pianist. (A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.). Film, Universal Studios.
Seuss, Dr. (1950). Yertle the turtle and other stories. Random House, NY. Reference for other books:

Scieszka, Jon. (1989). The true story of the 3 little pigs. Scholastic Books.

Tardi, Jacques. (1994). It was the war of the trenches. Fantagraphics Books.

Yolen, Jane. (1992). Encounter. Voyager Books.

Yolen, Jane. (1990). The devil’s arithmetic. Puffin Books.

Reading About History Education

Barton, Keith, Teaching history for the common good. Call # LB1582 .U6 B37 2004

Cannadine, David, Editor. (2002). What is history now? Palgrave Macmillan, Great Britain.
Evans, Richard J. (1997). In defense of history. Granta Books, London.
Evans, Ronald W, and The social studies wars: what should we teach the children?

Call # LB1584 .E95 2004

Francis, D. (1997). National dreams: Myth, memory and Canadian history. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press. Call # FC95 .F72 1997
Gaddis, John Lewis. (2002). The landscape of history: How historians map the past. Oxford University Press, New York.
Gary B. Nash, Charlotte Crabtree, and Ross E. Dunn, History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past (1997). Call # XX(1248454.1)
Granatstein, J.L. (1998). Who killed Canadian history? Toronto: HarperCollins. Holt, T. (1990). Thinking historically: Narrative, imagination, and understanding. New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Call# UA600 .G695 2004
Hollitz, John. (1997). Thinking through the past: A critical thinking approach to U.S. history. Houghton Mifflin Company, NY.
Levstik, L., & Barton, K.C. (1997). Doing history. Mahwah, MJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Call # LB1582 .U6 B37 2004 (on order)
Samuel S. Wineburg, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (2001).
Sexias, Peter, Editor. (2006). Theorizing historical consciousness. University of Toronto Press, Canada.
Stearns, P.N., Seixas, P., & Wineburg, S. (Eds.). (2000). Knowing, teaching & learning history: National and international perspectives. New York: New York U. Press Call # D16.2 .K59 2000
Tosh, John . (1984). The pursuit of history: Aims, methods and new direction in the study of modern history. Longman, Pearson, Toronto, ON.

Vansledright, Bruce A. (2004). What does it mean to think historically...and how do you teach it? Social Education, 68(3), pp. 230-233. The National Council of the Social Studies.

Werner, W., & Nixon, K. (1990). The media and public issues: A guide for teaching critical mindedness. London, ON: The Althouse

Wineburg, Sam. (2001). Historical thinking and other unnatural acts: Charting the future of teaching the past. Temple University Press, Philadelphia.

Sources For Teaching Moral Dilemmas

Magendzo, Abraham & Toledo, Maria, Isabel. (2009). Moral dilemmas in teaching recent history related to the violation of human rights in Chile. Journal of Moral Education 38(4). Moral dilemmas in teaching recent history.pdf

Salmons, Paul. Moral dilemmas: history-teaching and the Holocaust. Education Co-ordinator, Imperial War Museum, London teachinghistory.pdf
Imperial War Museum Holocaust Handbook  Holocaust_Ex_TeachHbook.pdf
The Genocide Education Project:

Teaching With Primary Sources
(2003) Document Analysis Worksheets. Social Education, 67(7), pp. 417-428,

Teaching With DBQs / CRQ:

New York State's DBQ Site -
Other Resources:
Resources File for DBQs
Maryland Historical Society Primary Source Worksheets -
US National Archives:
NewYork State Worksheets:
Defining Sources: Canadian Archives
How to view photographs - New Maryland Historical Society

The Library of Congress Learning Page
Bill Talley's Workshop -

The National Archives Photo Analysis Worksheet

Process Guide #5 Viewing Photographs

General Questions When Viewing a Photograph
National Archives

Archives of Canada:

Archives of Provinces

Archives of Ontario:

Archives of New Brunswick:

University of McGill:

McCord Museum:

Early Canadiana Online:

Begbie Contest in British Columbia
Document Resources for NB History Courses

Internet History Sourcebooks -

Canadian History -

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans: Canadian Archives

Canadian Archives: Evidence Web

McCord Museum Web Activities:

Early Canadiana: Fur Trade
Essential Resources For Teaching

Instructional Strategies:

(2004-2009). Instructional Strategies online. Saskatchewan Public Schools. Retrieved from
(2008). Strategies for teaching Social Studies. Delaware Social Studies Education Project, University of Delaware. Retrieved from
Hofler, Mark & Harris, Judi. (2009). Social Studies learning activity types. Retrieved from http://activitytypes.wmwikis.net
Asking Questions:
Graphic Organizers:

Education Oasis -

The Graphic Organizer -

Brainstorming Web -

Graphic Organizers -

Enchanted Learning - Enchanted Learning Graphic Organizers

Education Place -

English Companion –

Mind Tools Mind Maps -

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