Tips on Teaching Humanities

Capturing students’ attention, introducing new concepts, and ensuring they understand the content is not automatic.

Teaching is partly an art! Unlike science and mathematics that are straightforward, in humanities, the tutor needs to consider the proficiency levels of students and determine the best mode of content delivery.

Humanities projects are fascinating when the subject is taught effectively. Here are some tips for you:

Encourage Discussions

Consider allocating a significant percentage of class time to discussions on guided topics. The discussions can be in groups among students or in class, as you moderate.

How you initiate discussions depends on the level of study; for instance, students in lower grades may not have enough background knowledge to discuss a topic of history in another continent. Conversely, high school students can comfortably argue their ideas about Ancient Egypt.

Consider giving students questions on a broad topic, allow them to brainstorm amongst themselves, and call for a class discussion after two days.

Prioritize Primary Sources

 Tips on Teaching Humanities

Let’s face it; humanities are characterized by long and dry paragraphs. Students do not like such textbooks. Considering subjects like history are unfamiliar for students in lower grades, they easily develop a negative perception.

Therefore, avoid pointing students to the traditional academic textbooks; only use these while preparing your notes. Otherwise, find translated material from ancient sources and share with students.

Reading from primary sources gives them an opportunity to compare culture and society in the past and today. Additionally, primary sources help students develop a critical mind on approaching history among other humanities.

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Allow Students to Think and Write

Humanities projects shape perception, judgment, and ultimately behavior in society. Therefore, it is important to give students the opportunity to express their thoughts around incidents in history.

Because thinking and writing are inseparable, encourage students to share their perspectives verbally in the classroom and give equal writing chances through homework and essays.

Discussions should be a chance for students to develop questions that trigger their thinking; let them come up with questions starting with “why, how, and what is the importance.”

Help Them Develop a Philosophical Mind

 Tips on Teaching Humanities

Humanities train the mind to draw connections; tutors should seek to achieve this by the end of class.

Students should synthesize content on different subjects and come up with individual conclusions that incite discussions; from topics on government, literature, and history, to Science and Mathematics.

Touch on chemical compositions used in weapons in ancient wars and link to political intentions to control the minds of the people. Again, encourage students to post questions and answers on a philosophical basis.

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Read Whole Texts

Plato, for instance, has diverse pieces on God, friendship, and morality. One finds a better understanding of Plato’s views only after reading all the text. Short stories might be exciting and easier but the fun in philosophical arguments is looking at the whole picture. Students might find the whole text hard to read at first, but the end will be amazing.

Now, you understand the structure of humanities, it doesn’t have to be boring! Implement these tips for your next class and experience active engagement with students.