#PandemicEDU: The Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know

Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.

~Maya Angelou

Let me start this post by saying it will be the last #PandemicEDU post. Apparently, the worst is over (though I still keep a mask and sanitizer nearby at all times because the math is still mathing.) so I don’t feel it necessary to center my rantings under the “it’s the pandemic’s fault!” anymore. With that said, let’s talk about books.

In my role as Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee of the Indiana Connected Educators (@iceindiana), I am tasked with several things, a few of which I actually manage to get done. One thing I’ve been focused on in the 2 years I’ve been responsible for providing resources in this area, I’ve found book studies an interesting way for educators to learn something we think we might know nothing about. This summer, I’m facilitating a study on History specifically American History textbooks. The book, “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by the late Dr. James W. Loewen is the book of choice. After reading it, it got me thinking about the things I’m pretty sure I don’t know.

For instance, I don’t know why the age 25 was chosen as the minimum age to run for a seat in the US House of Representatives. I suppose, 247 years ago, with median mortality rates lower than they are now, 25 seemed like an age of wisdom and experience. I occasionally wonder if perhaps, in these modern times, that minimum should be revisited. I wonder why learning the things that make this nation great only include the patriotic, flag waving events without acknowledging how becoming “the best” involved a lot of negative events. I wonder why learning history is such a sticky wicket for Americans and how we can change that mindset.

In our book study, we will examine how high school history books in the United States are formatted, the topics chosen for discussion and how those topics are covered. We’ll consider why some history holds a more powerful hold on the imagination than others. Finally, we’ll reflect on why high school students don’t like history class and what to do about that, because, history IS important to learn.

I cordially invite you to join us June 18 – July 29th for 6 weeks of asynchronous learning. We’re going to find out what we know, what we thought we knew, and what we definitely know we don’t have a clue about. Although the topic of the book focuses on history, we’ll apply what we learn about teaching history to other content areas, creating a more vibrant, “here and now” learning experience for our students. Learn more about the study below and register here.

The book study is NOT limited to K-12 educators. If you or someone you know want to join us, please, do! Use the links and/or QR codes below to preview and register for the study. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Twitter (@csstone1161). Hope you can join us!

Please, this summer, LEARN SOMETHING NEW, because you just don’t know what you don’t know.


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