Relation to Standards
We have drawn on the historical thinking standards outlined by the National Center for History in the Schools [http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/nchs/]. We feel that these standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus history work in their classrooms.
As a history unit, the Neoclassicism and Romanticism Unit strives to help students develop "[h]istorical understandings that define what students should know about the history of families, their communities, states, nation, and world. These understandings are drawn from the record of human aspirations, strivings, accomplishments and failures in at least five spheres of human activity: the social, political, scientific [and] technological, economic, and cultural as appropriate for children."
We agree with the researchers at the National Center for History in the Schools that developing "real historical understanding requires students to engage in historical thinking: to raise questions and to marshal evidence in support of their answers; to go beyond the facts presented in their textbooks and examine the historical record for themselves; to consult documents, journals, diaries, artifacts, historic sites, and other evidence from the past, and to do so imaginatively -- taking into account the historical context in which these records were created and comparing the multiple points of view of those on the scene at the time." (Historical Thinking Standards, National Center for History in the Schools)
An evaulation of how the Neoclassicism/Romanticism Unit addresses some of the National History Standards:
- Using historical research capablities to obtain historical data. Students will use the Internet to access not only historical texts, but also photos and sounds associated with the Neoclassicist and Romantic traditions. (Standard 4)
- Engaging in historical analysis and comprehension by considering multiple perspectives. Students' exploration of Internet resources, as well as their sharing of their research, will help students study Neoclassicism and Romanticism from a variety of perspectives and emphases. (Standard 3)
- Developing historical comprehension through drawing upon diverse sources for historical learning. The combined use of Internet and human resources will allow students to forge an understanding that history comes from many sources. (Standard 2)
The Mid-Continent Writing Standards [http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/standardslib/langarts.html] suggest helpful general and specific skills for K-12 students to learn, and consist of items or tasks specified for several grade levels. The Neoclassicism/Romanticism Unit addresses these writing standards by encouraging students to:
- Demonstrate skill in composing reports without significant grammatical problems.
- Use a variety of data resources to compose an essay.
- Synthesize research information to formulate a new position.
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