Motivating High School History

This paper summarizes research conducted to determine the quality of high school history teaching specifically curricula stressing critical thinking skills over rote memorization of facts.

The paper states that the method of research was qualitative interviews with administrators, teachers and students. The paper presents many quotations from the research. The conclusion was that the administrators believed that standardized, rigorous tests and well-written textbooks were the most important factors in ensuring that students acquired a sound understanding of history, but the teachers and students themselves agree that the integration of a critical-thinking approach was the best motivator.

Table of Contents
Critical Thinking and History: The Teachers’ Perspective
Students’ Perspectives
“History is not a subject that tends to inspire high school students. The mention of the subject is more inclined to invoke eye rolling rather than the quickened heartbeat that indicates passionate interest. This is, of course, problematic, because an understanding of history is an essential part of the education of the youth of a democracy. Moreover, it is unnecessary because history can be riveting. ”