by Anne Donofrio-Holter
Mountain View High School history teacher Chris Lewis was recognized last week for his essay on “how a people’s history is being taught, how teachers were introduced to the work of author Howard Zinn, and how students are responding to learning a more complete version of U.S. history,” along with how he implements the works Zinn in his classroom.
“The Zinn Education Project website has allowed me to find lesson plans and activities that help my students interact with challenging information,” said Lewis. “What impressed me most about the lesson was the engagement required by students. They had to interact at a high level of critical thinking.”
Lewis’ class recently held a Socratic seminar discussion of “The Coming Revolt of the Guard,” in “A People’s History of the United States,” centering around Zinn’s prediction for the future of America where students assessed the impact of small revolutions and evaluated Zinn’s proposal that it will be the disgruntled middle class that will rebel against the current system.
“Students are analyzing the ways in which the American Dream has changed over time and how the definition changes depending on the lens through which it is viewed,” said Lewis. “I want students to see that the so called “dream” was different for the Puritans as they fled religious persecution, different for African Americans during the Civil Rights movement and different for those that live below the poverty line in today’s world.”