Mike Gwaltney

Creative, Appealing, Meaningful Learning

Grant Wiggins has just written about a study released in 1983 – my freshman year of high school. The study’s conclusions fit what I remember about schooling: “School curriculum is sterile. Topics of great human interest on the way to the classroom are apparently transformed and homogenized into something of limited […]

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Doing Authentic Work in PBL with iBooks

Much of the work that students do for school is just that – work only suited to school. A case in point is the traditional research paper. Where else in life will students have to follow a prescribed formula for presenting research that nobody besides a teacher or professor actually […]

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Thinking and Acting Like a Historian with PBL

There are many good reasons to teach history to high school students, and not the least of those is to teach disciplinary thinking. Professor Jeffrey D. Nokes expressed the correct sentiment in 2012 in his article for Education Week: “Like their peers who provide opportunities for students to mimic professionals, […]

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Building a Better High School Government Course

An energetic young teacher spent the summer of 1996 preparing to teach Advanced Placement U.S. Government for the first time. This week, that teacher finished teaching his last AP Government course. After 18 years, I am done with “AP Gov” for the foreseeable future. I am as passionate today about teaching citizenship […]

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Three Documents for your First American History Lesson Plan of The Year

Who Chooses War in a Constitutional Democracy? It’s not often that one of the fundamental democratic questions is front and center for us. When President Obama spoke on Saturday about his intention that the United States should take military action against Syria, he seemed to imply that an important debate […]

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Mike Gwaltney