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Sunday, April 8, 2012

American History and Perception of Culture

As part of my pre-practicum experience at Presentation Brothers College in Cork, Ireland, I did a lesson on American History for the 4th and 5th year students (the equivalent of sophomores and juniors in American high school).  I was very impressed with some of their knowledge already of events like George Washington's crossing of the Delaware, the Boston Tea Party, and the Civil Rights Movement.
The boys were particularly interested in the Civil War, and in cultural movements throughout the 20th century.  They had a lot of questions about the Jim Crowe laws, general segregation, and prejudice.  I think that this concept may have been so intriguing to the students because it is an emerging issue in their own country with recent immigrant influx, but remains something they are still not totally familiar with or sure how to approach.  The older boys often come up with incredibly thought provoking questions that lead to very successful discussions.
My cooperating teacher and I made the class into a more comprehensive assignment for the boys.  They will give short presentations in small groups on Irish History in the style I modeled with my own.  I cannot wait to get a better insight into their cultural history and national development through these projects!

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