Hands-on . Individualized . Project-based
It is my belief that learning is more impactful if it is hands-on, relevant, and engaging. Our students are more apt to remember what they learned in class when things are taught this way.
Using the HiP (Hands-on, individualized, Project-based) approach to learning is not new, as that is how we learn throughout our lives. It's how we learn to drive a car, how to paint, how to play a sport or a musical instrument. Art classes in particular use this approach all the time. However, this style of teaching hasn't been widely adopted in Social Studies classrooms.
There are some main reasons for this. Textbooks are an easy way to push out lots if information about the past to lots of people quickly. And, while this may have worked in the past we must come to the realization that teaching from a textbook has its limitations especially in our ever changing world.
- First, whose history is it we are teaching? One of the things I love the most about History and the Social Studies is that there are multiple perspectives to every event. I believe that we need to show this to our students and let them analyze the events from these different points of view.
- Second, why do we need them to memorize facts and information that is now at our fingertips in a matter of seconds? I am much more interested in my students learning how and why things happened, rather then just telling me what happened. This will allow them to draw conclusions and make connections to things that currently happening in our world.
- Third, by making the classroom passive, we are demonstrating that it is okay to be passive in our society later in life. I want my students to know
- how to connect history to current events
- how to voice their options, based on facts, in diverse media formats
- how to contact their representatives to be heard
- how to listen to one another and have civil discussions