In addition to being practice in how to go about making a DBQ, this assignment has also been a solid lesson in how not to create a DBQ. I feel that as an actual practicing teacher, this will be easier as I will have a better idea of what I want and need the DBQ to do. I will have a topic in mind, and a message that I am trying to convey to the students, or messages that I want them to come up with on their own. There will be more structure in place. Creating a DBQ in the manner that we did for this class allowed me too much freedom, I feel. I needed a more concrete goal, as my DBQ turned into doing whatever I wanted to with it, not trying to meet specific requirements for student learning.
Going along with that, I decided early on that I wanted to create an image based DBQ. I found my resources, and shaped my DBQ around what I had discovered. If I were to do this again, I would reverse my work flow. The topic would come first, and then I would find documents that fit with it. There would be more diversity in the sorts of documents that I included, rather than just using images.
While I do like my DBQ, and feel that it would get students to think about something that wouldn’t normally cross their minds, I am less pleased with the process that I went through to create my DBQ. My problems aren’t so much with my content as with my process. If anything, I became too attached to my content, and struggled to make changes because of that.
Image Credit: White House Photo Office Collection courtesy of the National Archives.
One Reply to “Content vs. Process”
I really like that you are thinking about how this will play out in your class in the future. Having concrete goals is certainly helpful, and will hopefully help keep us focused as young teachers. There is always so much to do and accomplish, it is great to know the limits or parameters you want to work within. Saying all that, I also want to encourage you to provide a ton of stuff to students, and let them run wild once in awhile. If you can create simple guiding questions, they can have some freedom to roam. That way you don’t always have to micromanage. I have not figured out how to do this myself, but I know there must be some balance out there between having a clean, tight purpose, and not doing all the work ourselves. Just glad to see you are in the process of working it out!