Bud Strudthoff is trying something interesting. Students in his Social Studies class have been studying the enlightenment. Bud wanted to focus less on reports, direct lectures, and worksheets and more on the critical thinking skills vital to understanding the Enlightenment. This period in our history was a time of clashing ideas shared at house parties of the day, called salons. Thinkers came to discuss, debate, and share critical ideas.
To tap into his students’ own critical thinking skills, Mr. Strudthoff challenged his students to build the perfect salon dinner party by inviting five Enlightenment thinkers from Europe and the Americas. Thinkers were placed in a seating arrangement at a dinner table. The students had to decide if they would build a harmonious environment or even an argumentative one. Who should they put together? Whose ideas would clash? Who would get along? And most critically, who shouldn’t be invited to the party at all?!
Check out this video that captures some of the students’ thinking and Mr. Strudthoff’s ideas for doing this project.
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