Friday, January 09, 2009

Maybe High Schoolers Need to Study Genealogy

According to The Nation's Report Card: U.S. History, 2006, only 36% of high school seniors could identify immigration pattern and explain its causes. I would think that studying genealogy and family history could improve this score. I just hate to see students doing so poorly in history.


Linda Jones said...

Hi, Lori
Isn't finding out about one's ancestors still part of some assignments? I remember doing it in the Dark Ages.

Lori Thornton said...

Maybe in some places it is. I didn't do it when I was in school, but I guess I was doing it in the "Middle Ages." LOL

Colleen Johnson, CMJ Office said...

My kids have not had to do anything related to ancestry. It is strange because I remember having to do it. My daughter loves history. I'm not sure if I've peaked her interest in it or not.

ET said...

I completely agree with your comment about the importance of studying genealogy or family history.
I teach in elementary school in Quebec and each year I do some genealogy or family history projects. I've taught my students how to read census returns and then we note how areas become more urbanized, languages and occupations change.
Apart from anything else, it helps history come alive for my students.
Evelyn in Montreal

Lori Thornton said...

Thanks for the comments. I do know that we talked about settlement patterns when I took American History back in the 1970s in high school. I would have to say though that I've learned more about immigration patterns and such as a result of genealogical research. Of course, high school curriculum tends to be much more multicultural than it was when I was in high school. I can definitely see where studying family history or genealogy would really expand the relevance of it to the students, perhaps even igniting a love of history. If they could discover that one of their ancestors came to America because of famine or that their ancestor was involved in that skirmish with the Indians or that one of their ancestors was one of the first to settle a certain area, perhaps they would pay a little more attention to the accounts of such.