Santa Fe’s “History Squad” provides a new perspective to social studies


Andrea Hernandez

History Squad : (From left to right) Torie York, Kathy Fine, Jeff Jones, Dave Heaverin, Meg Shadid, K.C. Williams. Santa Fe's history teachers made "History Squad," t-shirts to sport their subject.

Kathryn Burkhart, Santa Fe Print Managing Editor

On Aug. 16, the history teachers in the newest wing of Santa Fe  prepared to receive their new class of students for the 2018-2019 school year, like much of the other educators across the school. The history teachers, most of whom are now located in the west wing of the school, have named their group the “History Squad,” and adorned t-shirts (provided by AP U.S. government teacher Torie York) baring their group name.

“Many people think history class is just about retaining facts of things that happened a long, long time ago,” AP World History teacher Meg Shadid said. But rather it’s a discipline to explore critical thinking and to explore multiple peoples perspectives in order to gain a better idea of whose perspective we’re reading.”

Mrs. Shadid, along with other history teachers at Santa Fe, hold this idea true and incorporate this into their curriculum. They believe teaching history is not only a way to prevent past mistakes from being repeated, but also a way for students to connect to the past in a special and enlightening way.

“You could talk about history in terms of a family tree,” AP U.S. government teacher Torie York said. “I feel like students need to know where they come from and where others have come from. The best way to teach history is to relate to them.”

In addition to incorporating students to their own past, history helps a student prepare for their future. Teachers find creative and inventive ways to incorporate speaking and writing skills, while also improving the students’ outlook on politics and society as a whole. These activities sometimes include socratic seminars, a discussion in which students can express their opinions on certain relevant historical topics. AP European history teacher, Dave Heaverin, commonly incorporates these discussions in his classroom to engage the students in a higher level of thinking.

“I enjoy the interaction with the students,” Heaverin said. “If I can see them laughing and having fun with history, I know they are learning it or at least respecting and understanding it.”

The History Squad of Santa Fe continues to incorporate the discussions of the past and present to help students to develop critical thinking skills while also having fun and enjoying the learning experience.

For more information email Kathryn Burkhart at [email protected]