I get the chance to work with all sorts of extraordinary people doing what I do.
Today you meet one.
Don Gifford is the Social Studies Consultant for the Kansas Department of Education and is responsible for the coordination of social studies standards, assessment, and instruction in the state. He spends much of his time working with Kansas districts and teachers to improve teaching and learning.
He’s been herding cats for the last 18 months getting the new state standards written and approved by the state Board. And as a member of the herd, I know how hard that has been! In this podcast, Don talks about the new standards, the perfect social studies classroom, and shares two pieces of advice.
I had a great time talking with Mary Madden from the Kansas Historical Society earlier this week. Mary is the Director of Education and is a phenomenal resource for anyone teaching Kansas or American history.
In this short interview, Mary and I talk about the very cool KSHS Read Kansas card program, weird donations including the bones of Bloody Bill Quantrill, and some of the favorite parts of her job. Be sure to check out the links below to find even more stuff!
I got the chance to watch the Lincoln movie a week or so ago. Loved it. Who would have thought? A movie about constitutional law? Interesting?
But great casting, great costuming, and great performances, especially by Daniel Day Lewis, create a great movie. My wife was concerned about the length and walked out afterwards praising the movie. Even my daughter, who is not the history geek that her dad is, said:
The movie helped me see that Lincoln is an actual person, not just some historical figure in some textbook. He played with his kids while trying to run the country. I thought that was cool.
And I learned more about the process of how laws are passed and so I plan to go to a great college and become a lawyer, supporting my father in his quest to play every golf course in the state of Hawaii.
Okay. I added that last bit. But she really did enjoy how a very important piece of American history was told in an engaging and interesting way.
But how to use the movie in the classroom?
I’m not really sure this is a good idea or not.
I’m starting a podcast. Yeah, I know. It’s weird for me too. But I’m starting to realize that there is a lot of stuff out there that I want to share with you, lots of people that I want to talk with, and lots of conversations that make more sense in an audio format rather than text.
So I’m jumping off and nailing on the way down. It’s a bit exciting but I really don’t know how it’s going to turn out. The idea is to publish one a week with the goal of talking with a variety of people and sharing a variety of ideas. Any suggestions and comments are very welcome!
Several weeks ago, I asked Steve Wyckoff if he could help me jumpstart the process and he invited me to be part of his What’s Become Clear podcast over on the new Remarkable Chatter network.