Two History teachers from Maharashtra, India had Foldscope and they wanted to use it in their class. I’m writing this post to explain how history and science education are similar and how tools like Foldscope needed in history and science classrooms.
I’m using task used in the following video by Young Historians as an example:
A history teacher can collect different objects or if possible can take a group of students to an abandoned place and ask them to examine objects presented by the teacher or the place. In above video, the teacher presents few objects saying that he found them in an old, abandoned house. He then asks students to examine those objects to find out how old those objects are, who must have lived in that house, how many members, what must have been their profession etc. He gave them 10 minutes to observe and record. Then each group presented their findings with an argument supporting their findings. Other students asked questions and critiqued. Through this activity, history teacher tried to show his students how historians study history.
I think if students had tools like Foldscope, they could have done detailed observations and even done some simple experiments to test their hypothesis about objects like real practising historians. Both historians and scientist do experiments to test hypothesis. For example, historians often use a microscope to examine pottery and find its date or examine microscopic patterns on objects to find out how those objects were made or used.
At the end of this kind of activity, students will understand how history is studied and how the descriptions they read in textbooks was written.