Richard Miller, who taught in progressive NYC secondary schools for 28 years, talks about teaching students to think like historians, weighing different sources and drawing their conclusions from evidence. The past gives context to the present, and understanding historiography, or how history is interpreted over time, equips students to view current issues from multiple perspectives. 


00:00-00:33 Intro

00:33-03:18 Why teach history?

03:20-06:04 What do you want students to know when they leave school?

06:04-10:42 Relationship between individual students’ understanding and society

10:42-13:39 How goals for the year affect design of units and activities

13:39-17:02 Advice to a new teacher on goal-setting

17:02-20:27 Historiography and its importance

20:27-22:23 “Hamilton”

22:23-23:24 Historical fiction and films, David Liss’s “The Whiskey Rebellion”

23:24-29:32 Teaching writing as an ethical obligation

29:32-33:17 Reading the NY Times front page

33:17-42:18 Assessment: test, quizzes, project-based assessments

42:18-43:00 Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of the episode. 


Painting “The Last Moments of John Brown” by Thomas Hovenden

Soundtrack by Podington Bear