Our students face conflict every day, and one of the best opportunities to help them make sense of it is in the study of American history. Here we find conflict of all kinds, most often as an agent of change. By focusing on the roots of conflict, we can help our students develop a more mature view of their world. By encouraging an empathy for people from the past, we may even be able to promote compassion and tolerance in the future. That’s James Percoco’s aim with the publication of this book. Divided We Stand
was written to assist you in dealing with sensitive and controversial topics in secondary U.S. history classes. Using firsthand accounts and student words, Percoco explores the kind of issues we should be discussing if we are serious about making a better future for successive generations, topics such as gender issues, race, Vietnam, and civil rights. He provides a virtual handbook for teachers, describing specific lessons you can use to study conflict. All manner of resources are explained, with an emphasis on how to access those resources and use them effectively in instruction. There are also templates for the activities as well as critical-thinking worksheets, film synopses, and other tips.
All the sources described are current, and the book reflects recent scholarship in both the arena of pedagogy and methodology, as well as a broader vision of American history. One of Percoco’s skills as a teacher is his ability to raise questions with students that challenge their assumptions. His book will enable you to do the same.