Engaging students in a different discipline

I have no expertise about how to teach any other subject besides mathematics. But this article from the May/June 2013 issue of the Stanford alumni magazine made a lot of sense to me about how to teach history to middle- and high-school students. The basic principle appears to be the same that governs my classes: figure out a way to make students want to come to class each day. A sample quote:

I easily could have told them in one minute that the Dust Bowl was the result of overgrazing and over-farming and World War I overproduction, combined with droughts that had been plaguing that area forever, but they wouldn’t remember it.” By reading these challenging documents and discovering history for themselves, he says, “not only will they remember the content, they’ll develop skills for life.

For history, the widespread implementation of this teaching philosophy has apparently been hindered by the lack of adequate teaching materials, which is also addressed in this article.

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