How To Teach History

Maybe!

Steve Van Zandt is a pretty well known rocker. He also got himself a little notoriety playing a character on a modest little TV show. Ah! But can he teach?

Looks like he can.

I recall, back in the day, having such a hard time understanding history. Not so much the dates and names, but the context and reasons. It really, really seemed like nations went to war for no particularly good reason. Of course, back in the ’60s, that probably exactly what my history teachers wanted me to learn, but I digress.

Van Zandt’s has a better idea. From David Brooks in the NYT:

He’s drawn up a high school music curriculum that tells American history through music. It would introduce students to Muddy Waters, the Mississippi Sheiks, Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers. [Gee, not Springsteen, as well?–Ed] He’s trying to use music to motivate and engage students, but most of all, he is trying to establish a canon, a common tradition that reminds students that they are inheritors of a long conversation.

I’m not sure I see all the details worked out here – Scratch that. I am sure I don’t. But I think this is an easily adaptable idea that has merit.

H/T to Ed Driscoll.

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