Earlier this week I shared Kenneth Pomeranz's December 2013 Perspectives on History column with the students in my "Teaching History" course at Messiah. I have really enjoyed teaching this course this semester. The students have been great. I appreciate how serious they are taking the material and how they have been approaching the course with a real sense of vocation. I think most of them are ready to start teaching history in classrooms, museums, historical societies, and everywhere in-between.
Pomeranz reminds us that many of the habits of historical thinking that have become intuitive for those of us who spend time working with the past may not necessarily be intuitive for our students. I need to remember this as I train history majors and future history teachers, but my students also need to remember this as they go into settings where children and adults have not been educated or conditioned to think this way. Here is a taste: