STUDENTS EXPLORE HISTORY THROUGH THEIR ANCESTRY

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history of immigration class

Steve Schaefer’s class deciding which historical periods to study

Students at The New School have a strong voice in the design of their classes. This is apparent in Steve Schaefer’s second semester history class where students are defining the historical periods they want to learn about, based on their families’ histories. For several weeks students explored their family trees through the website Ancestry.com. They were particularly looking to uncover the time frames and countries from which their ancestors immigrated to America. (Two students discovered family records going back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries!) Students are now narrowing down several historical periods they want to study in depth in order to understand the economic and social conditions that gave rise to large waves of immigration to the US and elsewhere. The results of their studies will be presented at the end of semester LEAP Night where students display and discuss their work.

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