Upper School Students Transform into Teachers


"The biggest challenge facing the great teachers and communicators of history," once wrote actor, writer, and activist Stephen Fry, "is not to teach history itself, nor even the lessons of history, but why history matters."

Yesterday Stephanie Portman's Modern Social Movements students rose to this challenge by teaching Middle Schoolers.

As Portman, OES History Department Chair and History educator explained, "My class developed research questions around a social movement between 1930 and 1980, and the outcomes of that movement. Their assignment was to research their questions, then come up with an interesting interactive activity to teach what they learned to seventh grade U.S. History students."

To prepare for the teaching session, the Upper School students developed the lesson plan and conducted run-throughs of their activities prior to the presentations. When it was time to teach, the high school students were paired with groups of seventh graders for a rotating series of 15-minute activities accompanied by reflections.

This new collaborative learning project represents the inquiry-based learning at the heart of OES!

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