History is a difficult subject to teach, for not only is it political by nature, textbooks create a tendency to learn from a single perspective. Obi-Wan’s obtuse narrative of Luke’s father’s death illustrates well the role bias and individual perception can play in shaping sources. As demonstrated by Obi-Wan, a single perspective can be misleading, and dangerous, if not measured against other voices. I love working with primary sources, I think they shine a light on the petty and pedestrian, breathing life into our usual diet of dates and kings. Still, if source based learning is implemented, it is important to introduce a diverse variety. For, if we only examine history from one perspective we are accepting that individuals narrative and not examining it critically.
As a teacher, I hope to utilize a wide array of voices in navigating the past. Raised on textbooks and lectures, when I started taking history courses in college, I found myself woefully unprepared. Primary sources not only build student interest, but teach critical thinking skills necessary for academic success and citizenship. Through the introduction and analysis of multiple narratives students will be offered an opportunity to escape the trap of a single story and realize in the words of Ben Kenobi, “ that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view”.