Readers React

History sleuthing piques classroom curiosity

To the editor: Former Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member David Tokofsky is concerned that approaches to history such as the Stanford curriculum now in use at Venice High School "diminish content and scope in service to their hip methods." ("History classes don't need to be 'gamified,'" Readers React, Nov. 28)

Both The Times' article describing the new curriculum and publications by those responsible for the program at the Stanford History Education Group suggest that the inquiry-based approach does not diminish but increases students' mastery of history and generates real enthusiasm for it.

The new approach encourages students to look beneath the surface and examine authentic documents to gather evidence to determine whether claims and assumptions are supported by evidence. I recommend that both critics and supporters of the Stanford program, to which I have no personal or professional connection, do the same.

Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles

The writer is a professor emeritus of education at USC.

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