Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Content vs Skills

As a history teacher, I feel that I am pretty lucky. With all due respect to the other core subjects, I have the easiest subject matter to teach. I don't have to fight to get the kids to understand formulas, numbers or poetry, history is all about stories. I get to tell stories all day long. It's a great gig and I really love it.

But unfortunately, there's this other part of teaching, where you have to teach skills. It's far more useful, but not as interesting. The thing I've been struggling with this year is where to find the balance. If you only teach skills, the kids lose interest in a fascinating subject and get so bored they start causing problems. If you only teach the stories, the kids are totally hooked but don't have any of the skills they need in any future social studies class.

So this year I have been struggling to balance content and skills, mixing them together and swirling them around and attempting to come up with a mixture that will be palatable or possibly even enjoyable, to both them and me.

1 comment:

Ronnica said...

When people don't like history, I always tell them it's just stories...what's not to like about that?