Tracks > Assessing historical thinking

Music in the Social Studies Classroom: Historical Empathy, Assessment, and Meaning-Making

Joseph Adragna

Joseph Adragna

Social Studies Department Chair/Teacher
Covington, Louisiana

Joseph has been an educator for over 20 years teaching social studies and English. He has co-authored articles such as “Using the Power of Music to Support Students’ Understanding of Fascism” in Social Studies Research and Practice and “‘From a Vibrant City to a Warzone’: Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony as a means to foster historical understanding through empathy” in the Journal of Social Studies Research. Adragna has also won several awards including the Gilder Lehrman Teacher of the Year for the state of Louisiana. He is passionate about using music in the classroom to engage students in historical thinking.

Video description

How do we, as teachers, help students make meaning of social studies content? In particular, how do we foster the development of historical empathy in the classroom? One way of doing this is to use music as a tool to deepen students’ engagement and understanding of the content. By having students connect with music while delving into the historical importance of different musical compositions, we can help them create an emotional attachment to the content. In turn, students will deepen their understanding of history and teachers can assess their historical thinking in ways that move beyond the traditional multiple-choice test.

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Additional information

When: 06/05/2020 - 1:47pm
Duration: 10:03
Language: English