“History” is neither fixed nor certain. In our classrooms, lessons and discussions are ever changing, for both students and teachers. Each class, each day, each year, students and teachers grapple anew with the many diverse ways through which the past can be examined, revealed, and critiqued. Our hope—and expectation—is that the study of history at Sidwell Friends prepares young adults to be informed and engaged citizens of a diverse and interdependent world and to contribute positively to society, both now and in the future.
Our history curriculum consciously strives to balance the study of both Western (i.e., United States and European) and non-Western histories and cultures. We likewise attempt to balance courses that serve as chronological surveys with more topical, in-depth course offerings.
In teaching history, we challenge our students to ask insightful questions; make deeper connections; offer reasoned opinions based on evidence; develop and sharpen their skills of analysis, reflection, and judgment; express themselves clearly, cogently, and substantively when writing and speaking; and learn to think and work collaboratively as well as individually. And all the while, we challenge our students to examine the past in order to consider what exactly is—or what might be—a more just world.