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History is 'Power'

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Nicolas Winkel

on 15 August 2015

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Transcript of History is 'Power'

History is 'Power'
“History is Power”
What does this statement mean?
What history is it referring to?
What does the word ‘power’ mean here?
Share Out
How many different
on the quote can we get?
Respond to each other’s responses.
Where do we stand in our understanding and approach to the quote?
What questions do we have?
Soon we will be starting our first social studies unit of the year. Before we do so, however, we need to create our own framework for how we as a community are going to approach the social studies. In other words, we need to come up with our own ideas and guidelines which we can use to help us understand all the new subjects we address here together. The exercises we do today are going to help us get there.
History isn’t what happened, but a story of what happened. And there are always different versions, different stories, about the same events. One version might focus on a specific set of facts while another version might not include these facts at all.

We must choose which point-of-views will help us move forward: those which teach us to keep things going as they are or those which push us to work to make a better world. If we choose to make a better world, we must seek out the tools we will need. History is just one tool to shape our understanding of our world. And every tool has power if you hold it right.
Image by goodtextures: http://fav.me/d2he3r8
Let's have a few of you share what you wrote.
Take a minute to reread and to think on your own about what this quote is telling us. At the end of a minute, turn to a partner and tell them any thoughts you are having about any part of the quote—ways you agree or disagree, ideas it is giving you, or anything else. When we are done talking in partners, we will come back as a big group to discuss our thoughts all together.
How to Make History Powerful
We are now ready to come up with some of our own guidelines as to how to make history—all the different subjects we will be addressing in the social studies here together—into a tool for empowerment and change
We said in our discussion that we have to learn to look at events from many perspectives, and begin to ask questions about what those perspectives teach us, and why different people come to different conclusions about the same event. I think these are some great first guidelines.
How to Make History Powerful
Look at every new idea and event from multiple perspectives
Ask why each different perspective exists
What we are going to do now is work with a partner and try to add on to this list. Use your freewrite, the second History is Power quote, and our discussion to help you come up with a few of your own ideas about how we can make history into power. After a few minutes we will return back and share what we’ve come up with.
Look at every new idea and event from many perspectives
Ask why each different perspective exists
Ask how new information will change our own perspectives
Ask what kind of action we can take based on new information
Learn and be knowledgeable of the history of our own community
Learn and be knowledgeable of the history of other communities that share our struggles
Ask how new information relates to our own community, and to ourselves
Learn and be knowledgeable of many perspectives, not just our own or people like us
a point of view
Why is having these guidelines important?
How will we use them in the future?”
What we have just done is come up with our own guiding framework which will help us approach and analyze every new concept and event we learn about together in social studies. When we have time, we can write up and decorate this list, and put it up where we can all see it. We can also keep adding to this list as the year goes on. Every time we begin a new unit, or take on a new topic, we can return to these guidelines and use them to help us approach that topic as something which can empower us to make change.
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