History Department


The Fieldston Middle history department’s primary mission is to instill an understanding that the present is shaped and influenced by the past. Through the study of a multicultural range of historical content and concepts, students develop effective communication skills as speakers and writers. While developing critical reading, writing, and researching skills, students learn to properly access historical and current-events information for further analysis. Students consider ethical dilemmas from the past and present and the ways in which these dilemmas and their outcomes have affected people and societies then and now. Students learn to make connections across historical themes while identifying and discussing issues of social justice, past and present, and becoming equipped with tools for activism. During the three-year study of American history, world geography, and ancient history, students will understand that history is more than facts and dates, but instead the story of who came before and how they have shaped our world. Students will develop knowledge of patterns of history to better understand the present and prepare for the future. This understanding will help students consider and shape their own ethical beliefs and develop empathy as well as an appreciation for people, ideas, and experiences that are different from themselves.

We are committed to developing students who:
  • understand the basic tools and language of history
  • know the importance of using evidence to support historical claims
  • take organized and useful notes and refer to them for class discussions and assignments
  • identify and find their own primary and secondary sources for research
  • navigate use of the Tate Library and resources
  • develop a strong thesis statement based on a question about a historical topic
  • understand the process of research and research essay writing
Because our school is committed to academic excellence, progressive education, and ethical learning, our instructional methods include:
  • direct instruction
  • collaborative group work
  • project-based activities
  • class discussions