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Dr. John Beineke publishes new book; text aimed at teaching history to adolescents


John Beineke, Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Curriculum and also professor of History at Arkansas State University, has written a new book – “Teaching History to Adolescents: A Quest for Relevance” – published by the international publisher Peter Lang with headquarters in New York, Bern, and Oxford. The book is an exploration of recent research, ideas, trends, and practices for educators who teach American history to adolescents from the middle grades through high school.  The volume can also be used by higher education faculty in history and professional education. 

Topics in the book include the use and misuse of history textbooks, implementing primary sources into lessons, subject matter selection, professional development activities, technology, and the issues of diversity and
assessment as directly related to history. Other chapters include teaching history with comic books, engaging students with public history, using young adult non-fiction books and videos in the history classroom, and handling controversial topics.   

“Teaching History to Adolescents” also contains selected essays by teachers, experts, and public practitioners from the discipline of history. These sections are titled “The World of Practice.” The contributors include William White, director of the Williamsburg Foundation, award-winning History Channel Project teacher Caryn Ellison, and Disney Teacher of the Year Ruth Baize.

 Before entering higher education, Beineke taught history in both middle school and high school.  ASU is the third institution he has held a joint appointment in history and education. Beineke, who teaches the occasional U.S. History course on campus, employs a number of strategies from the book in his classes.