Teaching History As The Reenactment Of Past Experience


  • Anthony Pattiz Sandy Creek High School




If the aim of historical instruction is to enable the child to appreciate the values of social life, to see in imagination the forces which favor and allow men's effective co-operation with one another, to understand the sorts of character that help on and that hold back, the essential thing in its presentation is to make it moving, dynamic. History must be presented, not as an accumulation of results or effects, a mere statement of what happened, but as a forceful, acting thing. The motives-that is, the motors-must stand out. To study history is not to amass information, but to use information in constructing a vivid picture of how, and why men did thus and so; achieved their successes and came to their failures. 1

-John Dewey

Once again, historical education in our nation's public schools has come under fire . According to a recent survey released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), history appears to be a mystery to most high-school seniors. Fifty-seven percent did not answer enough questions correctly to reach the "basic" knowledge category stipulated in the survey.2 For history teachers, the stakes could not be higher.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Pattiz, Anthony. 2005. “Teaching History As The Reenactment Of Past Experience”. Teaching History: A Journal of Methods 30 (1):15-31. https://doi.org/10.33043/TH.30.1.15-31.