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History/Social Studies Reflection

History is daily life. It answers who, what when, where and why. In order to teach
history, a teacher must have more than just chronological knowledge. He/she must have cultural
understanding, sociopolitical literacy, economic literacy, geographic literacy, cultural literacy,
ethical literacy and historical literacy. A teacher must also have knowledge about our nation
democratic values, constitutional understanding, as well as knowledge about civic values, rights,
and responsibilities. While teaching history/social studies the teacher must also teach basic skills
such as study skills, critical thinking and participation skills. All of this must be taught in
correlation with one another. Students must understand the importance and value of history.
They must also comprehend that each year their skills will develop and these skills and
information are necessary for their academic success the next year. They must comprehend that
there is a connection between History, English Language Arts, Science, and even Math.
Personally, my history classes have taught me there are many components to history and
how to use this knowledge to teach others. I have learned to be a global thinker. They have
educated me on chronological knowledge about U.S. History, World History, and Latin
American History. Courses such as History 300 have taught me engaging ways to teach history.
Courses such as Geography have taught me about locations, cultures, and customs. California
History taught me about California's rich history and fun ways to engage and teach it. Political
Science has enhanced my understanding of the United State government and politics and my
Humanities classes have widened my understandings on Native Americans and Latinos. Even
classes such as my English classes have shown me ways to teach English Language Arts through
History. All of my history classes have taught various ways to study history, to develop my
critical thinking and to increase my participation skills. I feel I am well prepared to teach classes

in chronological knowledge, as well as California's History, and World History. The areas that I
may need a little more reviewing are Political Science. Through reading more about our political
system, I am sure I can further my understandings and become a better teacher.
The artifacts on this page are a Personal Map used and a paper written on the Drum
Barracks, a museum in Wilmington California that shows California's role in the Civil War. This
location was initially a military post and then became one of the first universities in Southern
California, later to be moved and named USC, University of Southern California. Both of these
artifacts are from my Family History course. The California Standards indicate that one of the
main goals is Cultural Understanding. For example one of the standards in Kindergarten is to
"identify the purposes of, and the people and events honored in, commemorative
holidays, including the human struggles that were the basis for the events (e.g.,
Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays, Martin
Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day)." In the second
grade standard 2.5 is " Students understand the importance of individual action and character
and explain how heroes from long ago and the recent past have made a difference in
others’ lives (e.g., from biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Louis Pasteur, Sitting
Bull, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Jackie Robinson,
Sally Ride)." Although these are two different grade levels, the map can be used to help students
in Kinder identify why some people are celebrated yet others are not and in second grade to
understand that some individuals can influence your life. When they create their own map, they
will have the opportunity to decide who goes on their map and why, while at the same time
expanding on a similar standard even if in a different grade. The Drum Barracks paper reinforces
the past and the present. In the first grade students must be able to "...compare and contrast

everyday life in different times and places around the world and recognize that some aspects of
people, places, and things change over time while others stay the same." While the paper can be
used to teach a 1st grade standard it can also be used in the 4th grade, where the theme is
California: A Changing State. One of the fourth grade standards is "Describe the history and
development of California’s public education system, including universities and community
colleges." The Drum Barracks is the location where the University of Southern California
initiated before it was moved to its new location. The Drum Barracks Museum as well as
California is full of history. Missions are one of the themes in the fourth grade and often teachers
and students recreate the Missions to show their understanding of California History, but this
paper will show that California is full of other historical sites that are within reach for everyone
to be a part of, making learning fun, engaging, and at the same time meeting the California
History Standards.