Thursday, September 24, 2009

Logic Stage history - researching and writing, part 1

To date, the vast majority of Jessie's writing has involving simply narrating stories or information based upon what she has read. This works extremely well for writing a biographical sketch of a historical figure or covering a sequence of events such as the story of the battle of Marathon. It falls short of reaching the goals I have for analysis of history during this next four year cycle. While I agree with The Well-Trained Mind that "logic-stage history involves both synthesis (fitting information into one overall framework) and analysis (understanding individual events)", I find myself differing a bit as to how I wish to achieve the latter goal. As many times as I've reading the chapter on history in the logic stage, I just don't get how the notebook setup that they use and the student-led choice of topics to research really achieves the goal of analysis. To me it seems like a great way to learn researching skills, but I can't see it producing a lot of the connections that students are supposed to be making to this point.

Analysis in my mind should include examining cause and effect, how events are connected, how an individual's beliefs impact his way of life, what role geography plays in the development of a civilization, the goals of individuals and how they achieve them, etc. Basically, I'm interest in why things happened the way that they did. While I could simply highlight some of this information in my history discussions with Jessie, I believe she will be far more likely to learn and remember the information if she discovers it on her own. It's a simply a question of how to reach the goal. I'm sure we'll make a lot of adjustments as the year goes on, but in part 2 I'll share my basic game plan with examples of what it looked like this week in our history studies.

No comments: