Book recommendation

As I move forward toward my goal of becoming a social studies teacher, I think it is important to analyze and consider new ways of presenting information to students. Consequently, I recently finished the book “A Nation Among Nations” by Thomas Bender, a professor at New York University.

The goal of the book is to contextualize American history, and take it out of the traditional narrative that is used in many schools. Instead, Bender seeks to re-frame our history by discussing it from a global perspective. By doing this, Bender impresses upon the reader the sense that the United States is not an autonomous nation, rather one that is entangled in the social and political discourse around the world. He stresses the importance of understanding American history from a worldview because it can better shape an understanding of how things have come to be today.

I think this is a fascinating point of view as teachers try to make their students citizens of the world and active participants in an ever changing global economy. Hopefully, I will be able to incorporate some of these ideas during my student teaching this fall.

About Pat

Pat Riley is student teaching at Amundsen High School in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood for the fall of 2010. He will be teaching Contemporary American History, starting just before the Civil War, as he works towards his Type 9 certificate with an endorsement in History and hopefully Business. Previously, he worked in public relations and business development for a law firm in Chicago, but decided his passion was education. Prior to working in public relations and business development, Mr. Riley received a B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus in Sports Marketing from Indiana University. Follow his blog at Musings on Apples and Education.
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