Talk of the Towns 12/14/22: Teaching History

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
We ask two experienced teachers about their experience of teaching history and what they want students to take away from their studies of history and social studies.
What is history… what makes it different than reporting the news and current events? How are history and social studies related?
What is the role of textbooks in your history classes? How do you connect students to history and historians outside of textbooks?
What are the roles of the state legislature (law), state Department of Education (state policy and standards), and local school boards (local policy) in shaping what will be taught and how? What does a curriculum coordinator do?
How do State Standards approach the teaching of history and social studies? Students should be able to “distinguish between primary and secondary sources,” “evaluate and verify the credibility of the information found in print and non-print sources.” and “Equally important is that students use additional sources to resolve contradictory information.”
How do you think about what students will use their knowledge and abilities in history and social studies? What do you want them to know and be able to do?
What should citizens and policymakers to keep in mind when it comes to the teaching of history in public schools?

Mark Puglisi, History Teacher, MDI High School
Julie Keblinsky, Director of Teaching and Learning, MDI Regional School System

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.