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News BackgroundersTeacher's LoungeAbout
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  Diane Steiker

  Craig Thurtell

HNN’s Teacher’s Edition: Grades 9-12 is a one-stop free resource of historically-grounded lesson plans and reading materials on current events for busy high school teachers.

Our mission is to provide comprehensive packages of background material, readings, visual aids, and ready-to-use lesson plans to teachers and students. We believe that such comprehensiveness is essential to student success and lays the foundation for responsible citizenship.

Our volunteer team of teachers and researchers prepare news backgrounders on topics in the news, then create a suggested lesson plan that builds off of the material presented in the backgrounder.

Each lesson plan is prepared by teachers with extensive classroom experience and encourages the development of higher thinking skills, and conforms to Common Core Standards.

Diane Steiker

Biography

Diane Steiker has been a secondary history teacher for 15 years at various urban and suburban high schools in New York City, and Westchester County, and currently teaches Advanced Placement United States History and Advanced Placement World History Teacher at The Bronx High School of Science.  In addition, Diane worked as a Social Studies curriculum developer for Kaplan K12 Managed Curriculum Services, writing inner city high school history curriculums for the Philadelphia, St, Louis, and Camden school systems. At The High School of Leadership and Public Service, she wrote and taught, a Leadership/Model United Nations course in conjunction with the United Nations Association of the United States, as well as a Public Policy course (at the secondary level) with Professor Bill Coplin (Syracuse University).  For ten years, Diane coached Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate, attending both regional and national debate tournaments. She has attended a variety of seminars on various historical subjects

Education

Master in Education, Lehman College, City University of New York; Bachelors in History, College of Staten Island – CUNY; Bachelors in Theater, Bennington College, 1980.

Published Works

“Feminism and the National Women’s Conference of the Ethical Culture Society,” ESNW, March 2009

New York Regents Advantage: United States History and Government, Volume 1 and 2, Kaplan, 2006

New York Regents Advantage: Global History and Geography, Volume 1 and 2, Kaplan, 2006

“Contract on America,” ICTUS Review, College of Staten Island, Leather Penguin Publishing, 1994

Awards

Teacher Leadership Award 2011; Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers 2000 and 2002, 2006; Teacher of the Year - Certificate of Merit, 1997-1998, N.Y.C. D.O.E.; The Herbert Foster, James Sturm, and Don Hausdorff Memorial Award for History 1995 

Anecdote

Coming of age in the early 70’s was an exciting time for history – Roe v. Wade, the end of the Vietnam War, and the resignation of Nixon. In my high school United States History course, we had the limited textbooks from the late 1950’s, and never made connections to this changing historical landscape. My teacher was a chalk and talk kinda guy, and I usually fell asleep. I yearned to be awakened, wanting my love of history to come alive. So after high school, I made my way to Bennington College and became a performer. There the Ancient Greeks gave new meaning to World War II during my senior project of Antigone. Sam Shepherd’s social commentaries spoke to my inner rebel. In Paul Sill’s theatre games course, we created improvisations from Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Me and my crew were obsessed with “the spectacle” and the tableau, studying how artistic trends often intersected with the political. Here is where my artist-as-historian was born.

Not so sure how the future would unfold after college, I moved into New York City’s the lower east side during the blackout phase, and became a bass player in a no-nothing band. We wrote songs about the vices of capitalism, date rape, Marx and love. As wild punk kids on the streets, we hung around the performance Garage on 2nd and B, trolled CBGB’s, and made our way each night to Kiev to see and be seen. We always looked for meaning from the past to better understand our present. Eventually, time took its toll, and on the rocky road of desire, after many starving years, I realized I needed a job, and healthcare. So in the early 90’s I enrolled at the City University of New York to become a teacher.

My first survey course transformed my desire to teach high school. I wanted to go back to the scene of the crime, with my new understandings, and change the outcome. Hoping to create a classroom of scholarship and integrity, my courses would provide a forum for discourse through engaging activities. By understanding the multiple perspectives throughout history driving thought, actions and impacts, students would better understand how people from differing class, race and gender shaped our world. By constructing a forum for a more intense examination of the processes and effects of events on society, students would better understand how history shaped their lives and the future they were working towards. So over the past twenty years, I have shed my rock and roll world and its accoutrements, and made my way on the “education” frontier, hoping to inspire students at The Bronx High School of Science.

Craig Thurtell

Bio

Craig Thurtell taught U.S. history and a little English for over twenty-five years, mostly in several public high schools, retiring in June 2011 after sixteen years at Ardsley High School in New York.  He has also spent brief stints teaching at the college level.  He continues to be active in history education, especially in the movement to teach history as a discipline, and has his eyes open for a writing project.  He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in the Teaching of History from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.  He lives in Cornwall, New York with his wife Margo.  His daughter, Leila, lives in New York City.

Anecdote

From second grade, I have always loved to write.  But, for quite a while, history had nothing to do with it.  The history courses I took in high school were forgettable, and forgotten.  Literature moved me, and English literature seemed to be the appropriate pursuit for an aspiring writer.  By my junior year in college, I had decided to become a poet, and I devoted myself to that craft for the next two or three years, until my commitment eased into terminal decline.  So I hung out for a while (easy to do in Ann Arbor),then decided that I had to become more serious about politics (also easy to do in Ann Arbor).  Soon enough, I realized that I couldn’t act intelligently in politics unless I understood history.  It was the mid-seventies, the Cold War was still going strong, so I decided to read Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution.  It’s pretty much been all history all the time ever since.  Before long, it occurred to me that my new love of history and my longstanding love of writing could be joined:  I could become a historian.  I discovered eventually that I love teaching. I’m still trying to do both.

HNN’s Teacher’s Edition was conceived as a one-stop free resource of historically-grounded lesson plans and reading materials on current events for busy elementary, middle, and high school teachers.

 

Our mission is to provide comprehensive packages of background material, readings, visual aids, and ready-to-use lesson plans to teachers and students. We believe that such comprehensiveness is essential to student success and lays the foundation for responsible citizenship.

 

Our volunteer team of teachers and researchers prepare news backgrounders on topics in the news, then create a suggested lesson plan that builds off of the material presented in the backgrounder.

 

Each backgrounder contains a summary of the topic, what both sides of the political aisle have to say about it, what the historical background is, suggests additional readings for both students and teachers, and collects interesting stories about the topic that would make an excellent addition to lectures and classroom discussion!

 

Each lesson plan is prepared by teachers with extensive classroom experience and encourages the development of higher thinking skills, and conform to Common Core Standards.

HNN’s Teacher’s Edition was conceived as a one-stop free resource of historically-grounded lesson plans and reading materials on current events for busy elementary, middle, and high school teachers.

 

Our mission is to provide comprehensive packages of background material, readings, visual aids, and ready-to-use lesson plans to teachers and students. We believe that such comprehensiveness is essential to student success and lays the foundation for responsible citizenship.

 

Our volunteer team of teachers and researchers prepare news backgrounders on topics in the news, then create a suggested lesson plan that builds off of the material presented in the backgrounder.

 

Each backgrounder contains a summary of the topic, what both sides of the political aisle have to say about it, what the historical background is, suggests additional readings for both students and teachers, and collects interesting stories about the topic that would make an excellent addition to lectures and classroom discussion!

 

Each lesson plan is prepared by teachers with extensive classroom experience and encourages the development of higher thinking skills, and conform to Common Core Standards.


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