South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Austin High School and AISD, SAI create new curriculum unit

Wed, May 28, 2008

The unit requires students to synthesize information from primary and secondary sources (oral histories, speeches, maps, graphs, short stories, films) and create interpretive materials (skits, debates, comics, stories) for understanding the history and geography of Partition. The unit was developed, piloted and presented at the National Council for Social Studies conference in San Diego in November 2007 and later was used by all of Austin High School’s World Geography teachers in Spring 2008, reaching approximately 650 students.

Teachers at Austin High adapted the unit as a model for the Disciplinary Literacy (DL) program, based at the University of Pittsburgh. The DL model encourages students to do the work of professionals. For example, as historians interpreting multiple primary sources when developing a complex perspective on an event. Austin High teachers shared the unit with colleagues from McCallum High School in Austin, when it was presented as a model lesson to DL program representatives from the University of Pittsburg. AISD has since posted “Partition in the Classroom: Teaching Migration through 1947 India” on its district-wide lesson plan repository for DL lessons.

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