In this “Inside the Writers’ Room” podcast, Lindsay Turchan and I talk with James N. Green, the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History at Brown University and the director of Brown’s Brazil Initiative. In this episode, we discuss the use of individual stories to illuminate the teaching of history. Green says:
“Individual stories help people understand larger social processes…it humanizes them.”
The podcast examines the value of using these stories to deepen student engagement while strengthening the skills necessary for good historical inquiry. Green also talks about how this approach inspired one of his students, Marga Kempner, to make a movie about the experiences of Marcos Arruda and his family during the Brazilian military dictatorship. The movie is featured in “Repression and Resistance During Military Rule,” a lesson in the Choices curriculum, Brazil: A History of Change. This powerful film is available online and can be viewed here as well.
Green is also one of the featured presenters at a Choices professional development conference, “Brazil, Cuba, Mexico: Bringing Latin America Into the Classroom” from June 29-20 at Brown.