POL8X05 International Conflict Meeting 1 World of Wars: Reflections on International Conflict Arina Muresan muresanarina@yahoo.com

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An Ideal History Teacher Presentation By Joseph Thato Mogomotsi Student No: 21205584 Email: 21205584@studio.ac.za

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Understand the essential qualities that makes a good history teacher Student teachers will be able develop essential qualities of a good history teacher

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“A history teacher is a dynamic force of the school. A school without a history teacher is just a body without the soul, a skeleton without flesh and blood, a shadow without substance”… Aron Bayon . From this quote, I take that, a history teacher is of a great importance to liberate the world precisely because of what Gilbert Robbisson wrote “The worth and potentialities of a nation get evaluated in and through the work of a history teacher. So, to give a little bit of an overview, this presentation I will discuss the characteristics or qaulities of an idea history teacher. The implication s will focus on how historians works , characteristics of a good history teacher, strategies to teach ing history , how to deal with diversity in a classroom and lastly to reflect on how to inspire or encourage a PGCE student history teacher.

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Haydn, Stephen, Arthur, and Hunt (2008) provide guidelines on how to train students to work like historians: History teachers should Train students how to use texts as evidence > here student are taught how to weigh and evaluate competing truth claims, consider the author’s motive and purpose, and draw inferences about the broader social and political context. History teachers should Train students how to develop and make use of historical reading skills > including the four key strategies historians use to analyze documents: sourcing, close reading, and contextualization. With these skills, students can read, evaluate, and interpret historical documents in order to determine what happened in the past And lastly, history teachers should Train students to read like historian > Reading like a historian generally include four elements: Introduce students to background information Provide a central historical question that focuses students’ attention Have students read multiple documents that offer different perspectives or interpretations of the central historical question Have the students respond to the central historical question in writing, a classroom discussion, or both

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A Good History Teacher Is A Storyteller And One That Develop Love For The History Subject (interviewee 4, 2021). According to i nterviewee 4 (2021) an ideal history teacher is one that loves the discipline of the history subject and is a fantastic storyteller. A history teacher should be a storyteller precisely because it allows him the opportunity to communicate the past events to learners more effectively and not just stating a chronological date of events as this may lead to learners not to participate extensively in a classroom. I nterviewee 4 (2021) also support that a history teacher should develop love for the history subject . Developing love for the history subject is part of the requirements of being a good history teacher However, I disagree with interviewee 4 who hold tha t a teacher who loves the history subject always produce high pass rate. Yes, developing love for the history subject is part of the requirements of being a good history teacher, but it does not determine whether learners pass or not. What really determines whether the learners pass or not is the knowledge that the history teache r have and the approach to teaching he utilizes during teaching and learning processes.

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History Teacher Must Be Rich In Knowledge Interviewee 3 , Mr CR (2021) believe that a good history teacher must share qaulities such as commitment, flexibility, openness to learn and try new methodologies. The above mentioned qualities of an ideal history teacher are of a vital importance for every history teacher to have. However, I feel like all these qaulities as argued by Mr CR are meaningless when the teacher lack knowledge of the history subject. Interviewee 2 , Mr JB (2021) hold that a good history teacher is that one who have thorough content knowledge about the history subject. To reflect on this view, Mr JB made a very good point. For example, like the teacher of any other subject, a history teacher should have a thorough knowledge of the history subject. Haydn et al (2015:14) also support the aforementioned argument by arguing that in order to make a good history teacher, one must be well prepared and well informed. Drawing from the above argument, my view and expression of a qaulity history teacher is that, and what people often perceive to be true or believe in is that, being a history teacher goes with demands. First and most importantly, a history teacher should be broad and full of knowledge of the world. All these requirements and qualities of an ideal history teacher mentioned above, requires a history teacher to engage in an extensive reading of various reference books or any relevant material in addition to the prescribed text-book s in order to have thorough knowledge and meet such requirements.

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Main Qualities Of An Ideal History Teacher According to Interviewee 4 (2021) history teachers must have the following qualities: Must be prepared to never stop learning and to be open to having their students ask difficult questions. Must be interested in the world today and their students. For example, it might be your hundredth time talking about communism vs capitalism but for their students it is their first time. Must allow his students space to explore documents or visuals to come to their own conclusions to muddle through like historians do. Should be prepared to spend hours finding great sources to challenge and interest their students and they should take pride in their tests and examinations and not just use the same notes or textbooks only.

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Interviewee 4 (2021) make use of projects as a learning strategy to teach history. I find this method to be ineffective and may result in learners getting bored of the subject. This method will get learners to over work thus leading them to develop hatred for the subject which will lead to poor performance. Plato and Socrates reminded us long ago that learners are not slaves, empty vessels, blank slates, or passive observers nor information receivers . Rather, as behavioral theorist argue s, that teachers should promote an extensive participation amongst learners in a classroom ( Raydn et al, 2015) . Therefore, an ideal history teacher according to me, should have the methods of teaching history in the classroom such as, posing questions while teaching the class . Interviewee 3 (2021) also support the use of questioning as an effective teaching strategy that make us of setting of good questions to develop and elevate learners’ understanding. Another strategy proposed by interviewee 3 is to get learners to discuss, debate so that they are interacting with the content and also make use of exercises where they write to develop strong arguments, letting them work with several sources. This makes learners to be more critical, participative and active during the lessons enabl ing the teacher to understand whether the learners are still listening or not.


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Interviewee 2 (2021) hold that a subject like History opens doors to challenges in terms of cultural beliefs, religions, genders, and race. Interviewee 3 (2021) also support that history takes another complications as we are teaching topics that may spark emotions, deconstruct beliefs, go against someone’s ideas and sometimes you must deal with assumptions that learners bring to class that may be discriminatory. In dealing with such challenges, interviewee 2 propose that such challenges should be used as an opportunity for learning . He further urges that it is difficult as at times we are teaching controversial topics that may cause tensions in the classroom, therefore we must be pedagogically sensitive and not teach in a biased or stereotypical way. History teachers require the ability to be self-aware of one's biases; to perceive, understand and accept differences in others; to analyse and understand student understanding and adapt as required; to negotiate and take risks in their teaching; and to have a strong conceptual understanding of their subject matter (Haydn, 2015).

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Advice From Interviewee 5 “ You are entering an amazing profession and working with the learners who come from different backgrounds and bring so many different aspects to a lesson.  You need to have a good understanding of the level you are teaching and KNOW your content the learners will soon pick up if you are unprepared.Try to establish an environment where they are encouraged to question and develop the skills they need” (Interviewee 5, 2021). I agree with Interviewee 5 and also would like to propose the following as a way to inspire future history PGCE student: Develop enthusiasm for teaching the history subject Should be passionate and show positive energy at all times Always be competent and consistent always be professional at work and even out of work as well Make hi, or her feel obliged that he or she is the change of the community


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Haydn, T., Stephen, A., Arthur, J. and Hunt, M. (2015). Learning To Teach History In The Secondary School: A Companion To School Experience. New York: Routledge. Interview Transcript (2021) Ideal History Teacher.