challenge history practical history pragmatic historian using history

The Litter Layer Challenge

In order to explore The Litter Layer I brought up in the last post, I’ve created a challenge to get you thinking about it. The Litter Layer is my term for what I expect archaeologists of the future will find in terms of dumps, landfills, and litter everywhere within this era’s layer of earth, especially in comparison to archaeological digs of previous eras. Take a walk a block or two from your home and make…

Continue reading

challenge history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

Challenge: Finding Patterns in History

It feels like I’m stating the obvious, but history teaches all sorts of thinking skills. One of these is that it enhances our ability to see patterns. When you’re just going through your day-to-day life, it’s easy to miss larger patterns, particularly when you don’t compare what’s happening locally to events on a statewide, national or global level. It’s the myopia of living in the now. When you take the time to investigate an historical…

Continue reading

history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

History Provides a Baseline for STEM

The public education system in the United States has been focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) for a number of years now, with humanities subjects like history and art taking a back seat or being cut altogether. Ostensibly, we are doing this because the STEM fields need employees. While I’ve never agreed that our public education system is about serving as a training ground solely for the purpose of capitalistic endeavors, even employers…

Continue reading

history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

Challenge – How Did We Get Here?

Today’s challenge is meant to give you practice in using history to learn critical thinking skills and examine context around situations and events. Pick a current event, situation or issue and ask, “How did we get here? How did this event, situation or issue arise?” Dig around and do some research to see if you can find one instigating event or a series of events that led to what is happening today. Use “The Ultimate…

Continue reading