I remember my high school days in several history classes - boring boring boring - always with the question in my mind - why do I have to study this? It felt like a waste of my time as it didn't seem to have anything to do with the immediate life challenges I was facing as a teenager. I have heard countless others express the same frustration. I have also known many people who love history, even for the sake of history. So the question came up for me in the context of giving students a voice in civics -- What might we as educators do to give students a voice in how they learn about history ?
When a teacher made something from the past relevant to what was happening in my life or the life of my friends in the present -- I engaged and remembered. What if our approach to history focused on how the past relates to the present and the students' own lives rather than an exercise in memorizing facts? What if students could raise those questions in history class themselves -- example - how does what I'm learning about what happened in World War 1 relate to what's going on in the world today?