Teach students to think critically using “Paintings as Windows to the Past”

In an age of high stakes testing, driven by a pedagogy resting on a “facts-based” approach to learning, history teachers are sometimes hard-pressed to engage students and challenge them to use higher level thinking skills. Through an interdisciplinary approach to learning, however, teachers can not only address the content of the curriculum but also challenge students to develop interpretive skills and think critically. Through this methodology, students can begin to “do” history. The Paintings as Windows to the Past online professional development course will explore proven strategies to bring the fine arts into the history classroom. Paintings will become the primary sources through which students explore the past. While not abandoning aesthetics, students will move beyond an emotional reaction to works of art and set them in a broader socio-historic context. Instructors will explore ways to inject additional primary documents into the lesson so that students can build strong, evidence-based interpretations of works of art.

The seven-week course will run from April 9 – May 28, 2014. To learn more about the course, view the course syllabus, and to register, visit: http://tinyurl.com/m84ced3.

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