History comes alive for Duncanville educators
Engaging problem based learning activities that take students back in time are in the future for Julie Phung’s social studies classes this year. She received a few lessons herself this summer on how to bring modern American history to life in the classroom.
Phung and fellow Duncanville High School world history instructor Ted Ford attended “The Making of Modern America,” a three-day education forum that drew more than 40 Texas educators this past June to the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.
“The historical event I got the most from and that came alive was (when I heard) the professor of economic history speak on the depression and how FDR managed the situation,” Phung explains.
Ford’s favorite topic was World War II, especially since the forum’s schedule marked the anniversary of one of its most important battles. “It was done on the anniversary of D-Day, and veterans from WWII were invited to participate. Excellent presentation!” he explained.
Educators also collaborated in small groups, discussing new ways to help students meet the 2012-2013 state-required testing goals while keeping them engaged in their learning.
Phung’s group specifically focused on finding new challenges for students with the latest online tools. “I plan to use some of the internet resources they spoke of to help create enrichment activities such as games, and also ways to help our students incorporate more reading into the social studies daily classroom.”
Attendees had the opportunity to hear lectures and receive one-on-one guidance from world-renowned professors, including Pulitzer Prize-winning historians David M. Kennedy of Stanford University and David M. Oshinksky of the University of Texas at Austin, and Pulitzer finalist H.W. Brands of UT Austin.
Ford appreciated their knowledge. “It made the event! I really enjoyed listening to experts who specialize in the subjects that we teach give practical information and suggestions to make us better in the classroom.”
Phung took home new ideas in problem based learning initiatives, and hopes to ask students to use what they learn about history to look for solutions to modern issues. “Medical research is so under-discussed, and given the current situation with the new health care law this is an opportune time to remind students how far we have come in our country in the last 75 years in the areas of medicine and technology!”
Phung will teach World History and Asian American Studies, and Ford will teach US and World History during the 2012-2013 school year.