History teacher Steve Oreskovic discusses how he gets his students to empathize with the feelings of injustice among colonists in the run up to the American Revolution, helping them gain a richer context for learning about history.
Through the practice of experiential learning—a simulation of a tax on school supplies—Oreskovic created an opportunity for his students to imagine the lived realities of American colonists. In doing so, he drew parallels with the Stamp Act imposed by the English government in 1765. The experiential activity “really gets them into the why,” he explains. By reflecting on the internal feeling of injustice, his students gained a richer understanding of the past that transcends the mere knowing of dates, names, and places.