The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist contributor: Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen has taught high school history for twenty-five years and is in his eleventh year at Tufts. He has also had the opportunity to work on educational projects beyond the classroom. He edited and wrote anthologies to accompany the public television documentaries Vietnam, A Television History and Eyes On The Prize. Steve has been a Program Associate with Facing History and Ourselves for two decades and written articles about teaching controversial issues like Vietnam, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust. His interests are teacher education, history and social studies.

Teaching World Cultures

Writing after Rachel is fun. Her story about reading Hersey’s Hiroshima with that third-period class brings the reality of teaching to the surface. That seems to me to be very rarely done when curricular mandates are launched. It is, I think, all well and good to ask our teachers to help our students understand “world cultures.” But what does that really mean? “Culture,” is, by itself, a loaded word.


Teaching about Race

Mervan Osborne’s recent post made agreat deal of sense to me. As a formerhigh school history and humanities teacher (independent and public schools) and a member of the Education Department at Tufts, I found that race was a topic that, in some way, shape, manner, or form I had to address with my students everyday. The term, as we all know, is loaded. It carries with it a great deal of baggage. Our students have generally learned that it is a subject to avoid in public, because it can suddenly turn explosive.