The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

History has many applications

By Jade Haney/ reporter

Leadership is one of the key takeaways in studying history, a NE history adjunct instructor told NW students Sept. 8.

Jerry A. Davis Jr. discussed ways students can apply historical reasoning skills to situations, past and present, while emphasizing the importance of critical thinking.

“You study about the leaders of the past, what worked well for them and what didn’t work well for them,” he said. “And you can build on their successes to decide what kind of leader you want to be.”

Davis also discussed some new shifts the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has made in history curriculum.

“One of the things I’m going to try and emphasize is leadership,” he said.

Davis said methods of teaching have changed focus from sheer volume of historical content to placing an emphasis on personal responsibility. When he asked for an example of such responsibility, NW student Saray Rodriguez answered, “Voting.”

“Yes, to vote,” Davis replied, “civic duty.”

Another student added, “To be informed,” and Davis agreed.

Davis said it is important to study events within their historical context and eliminate bias from the process of discovery. He demonstrated how to do this with a transcribed World War II letter from a German prisoner of war and pictures of German soldiers in an American prisoner-of-war camp.

“Critical thinking is always a key to your success at school,” he said.

After covering some more points about World War II, he talked a little more in-depth about self-actualization skills, which include communication skills, personal responsibility and social responsibility.

Davis, who also teaches high school AP history, said he was hopeful about the curriculum changes.

“Trying to enhance the student’s experience is what this is all about,” he said. “The workshop approach is to show that this is what historians do.”

Davis recommended the model of bridging self-actualization, leadership and personal responsibility with thinking critically.

NW student Rozanne Roux enjoyed the presentation.

“It was interesting enough to keep us engaged but still informative,” she said. “I felt like there was some good information in the pie charts.”

Rodriguez liked Davis’ presentation on using primary sources versus just diving into the book.

“When you go to somebody’s letter, autobiography or you see something somebody painted, it’s much more personal,” she said.

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