The Department of History wants to change how high school students think about the past.
On May 17, the History Department will host "History: It's About Time" welcoming high school students from across the London area to expand their idea of what it means to study history, showcasing history as an interactive and engaging field of study.
“We’ll be showcasing professors, and what we do, through mini-lectures and hands on workshops,” said Nancy Rhoden, Undergraduate Chair for the Department of History. “We’ll be showing our department and dedication to teaching, through engaging ways to present history.”
"We want students to think about how interesting and useful history is, and how fascinating it is to 'do history'-- that is, to ask questions about historical events, texts and artifacts, to inquire and weigh evidence, and to seek answers," said Rhoden.
In planning the day, the department met with high school teachers to see how the conference could be of most value. The teachers requested interactive sessions, and a chance to speak to faculty.
With that in mind, there will be separate panel discussions for students and teachers. Students will have a chance to talk to current undergraduate students as they answer the question “History: What’s in it for me?” Teachers will meet with faculty members to discuss their joint interest and concerns about teaching history.
While this is the first time the conference has been organized, Rhoden sees the department could organize it again.
“It’s a good way to engage in history, and to make students think about history as a course of study,” she said. “We want to show them why it would open doors, and why it would be interesting.”
“History: It’s About Time!” is a conference dedicated to giving student a glimpse of what studying history is like, highlighting it as an active, and interactive, process. The conference is open to students from Grade 10 to 12, free of charge. Registration is open for entire classes, or individual registrants.