19 March 2014

Experiments in Teaching Medieval Jewish History: Connect the Dots

So, if I were writing a textbook, I would make a nice tidy outline for each chapter.
But, under the circumstances - and given that each era of history is such an interesting bundle of people and places and ideas all interacting with each other - I wrote the terms for each unit all over a piece of paper, and told the girls, “connect the dots”.
The non-linear thinkers love it, the linear thinkers hate it, but in practice they all take their notes on this paper.

As an experiment, I gave a list of the exact same terms, in the exact same non-order, but left-aligned on the paper.
The lights went on for the linear thinkers. They said they realize now, retroactively, how well they understand everything, now that they see it in a nice straight line.
So, I learned something.

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