Is there Titanic curriculum for teachers


Feb 14, 2011
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A question to any Titanic buffs here who happen to be teachers- Where might I find a Titanic curriculum, which details the best way teachers can teach the story of Titanic to students?
I know my Titanic, but I trying to find the best way to teach the topic to students, and to get the students to discuss the ship, ask questions, and perhaps work on Titanic projects.


regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Yes, there are, Tarn. As a matter of fact, our very Capt. Weeks has been teaching it at the Maritime Academy for some time. Perhaps if he sees this, he may elaborate more on it. I have a few insights in email, but I will not share them without Capt. Weeks' permission. Also, you may email him. I'm sure he'll share, but that's up to him.

Just thought I'd let you know.
 
Aug 10, 2002
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Hello all:
My course, NS-415, RMS Titanic runs as an elective each winter semester. This is the third time I've run it. The purpose is to have the students learn about the Titanic. In particular how Hollywood and different authors have dealt with the story. We watch the A&E tapes and excerpts from ANTR and Titanic, and discuss what different authors have to say. The students bring knowledge they have gained from other courses in their majors to bare on Titanic. The mates usually enjoy the ship handling aspects. The engineers find her steam plant very interesting. Students from other majors find points of interest from their courses also. This year I have Jack Thayer's daughter coming in to talk to them about her father and grandmother's experiences. I also have Ltjg. Jeremy Weirich from NOAA coming in, he was the historian on the NOAA expedition of last summer. The course outline basically starts with an overview of life in Edwardian Times, then follows the history of the ship. At each point we examine the probable reality of what was reported as happening. We have used the academy's bridge simulator to recreate the accident.
There aren't any tests in the course, just a term paper and class participation. A couple of term papers have been published on the Research Page of ET. One on stability the other on lookouts & binoculars.
If you have any further questions let me know.
Regards,
Charlie Weeks
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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Damn, why can't they make it part of standard school syllabus? For history students, at least.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Jeremy,

I thought of the same thing, but unfortunately, most school boards do not think Titanic significant enough to serve as a main topic for middle school or high school curricula. Community school boards try to focus on the general and not the specific. As far as I remember from my highschool years (way, way, way back) and my time teaching and subbing, not even WWII holds a predominant status in high school history classes; it only served as a miniscule point in historical overviews. Those school curricula are designed to give you a little bit of everything and, I'm afraid, on a very basic level. Not even colleges have incorporated Titanic classes, but some are beginning to, with the revival of Titanic interest emerging and the new insights brought about through Titanic research - insights that can affect different areas and different disciplines of education.

Of course, that describes the situation and prevailing attitude here in the States. I am not familiar with educational systems in Asia.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Hi Charlie!
Thanks for taking the time to respond!

I have lectured about Titanic in front of school groups, I have walked god knows how many groups and indivuduals through five Titanic exhibits, elaborating on the story of each artifact, but I have never taught a course about the Titanic.

This is somthing I want to do, and I am in the early stages of learning how to put together a cirriculum or lesson plan.

Thinking back, I wish I could have given a Titanic class to many of my exhibit volunteers, but many would learn as they went along....
I think the reason I didnt have a class for the voluneteers is sadly most of them were not interested in the Titanic- for them it was a job, nothing more....


I plan on teaching, and in the short term would like to teach a Titanic class at the local Boston Center for adult Education- but how do you stretch a Titanic lesson over a period of weeks?
I just improvise and say what I know- but KNOW my flaw is I lack the experience of regimented structure that a lesson plan can provide me....

I know my Titanic, more that most, and less than some- But Im eager to teach the story, and make it sensible to the ears of a student.

I just need to brush up on **how** to teach the story to a class. An hour lecture or giving a tour of an exhibit is as simple as pie- but I need to learn how to extend it and make it last over time....

The guests you mentioned you had in your class were excellent. I have a few friends I kight pull out of my hat that would prove intersting guests.
Are there printed examples of Titanic cirriculums or lesson plans?


thanks again

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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>>Of course, that describes the situation and prevailing attitude here in the States. I am not familiar with educational systems in Asia.<<

The Asian educational system here is patterned after the British school system and I agree with you the history taught in school just gives us a broad overview on ancient and modern world history. Very, very brief.

IMHO, they should use the Titanic as a refreshing change instead of wars or fall of empires as examples to learn from the past. Its ALWAYS about wars!
 
Jul 7, 2002
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Tarn,

What grade level did you have in mind? I have a teacher's guide (pdf file) from one of the artifact exhibits. It includes Titanic social studies, math, and science lessons for grades 2-12.

I can't attach it because it's too large, but I'd be glad to e-mail it to you privately if you are interested.

Best wishes,

Cathy
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Recieved Charlie!
Thanks so much!
Ill be in contact with you via email shortly.
Thanks!
Hi Cathy, that would be great!
Thanks fr your kindness!

Grade levels that interest me- High school & college level- ideally college....


Thanks


Tarn Stephanos
 

James Smith

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Dec 5, 2001
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There was an educators pack released concurrently with the movie "Ghosts of the Abyss"--my parents are both elementary school teachers and the package was sent out as an incentive to get teachers to bring their classes to see the movie. The pack was pretty good--branched out into science, history, etc., and had some suggested projects for elementary school students, but I can't find my copy at the moment. You might try talking to some teacher friends--most teachers I know are notorious packrats, and you might find someone who kept their copy.

--Jim
 
Feb 7, 2005
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Sorry if this message comes up a second time--I thought I posted it, but so far it hasn't come onto the board, so I'll try again...

I'd forgotten about the educator's guide for GOTA! I organized a group outing to see the movie when it first came out at an IMAX theater in Columbus, Ohio. The theater manager kindly provided copies of the educator's guide to everyone in our group, and gave me a couple extras. If you'd like one, Tarn, I could send it to you.

The guide is designed for grades 5-8.

Denise
 
Sep 5, 2001
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I wish that I had seen this sooner, as I recently finished teaching a Titanic unit to my 10th grade Modern European History students.

I spent four days on the topic:

Day One: Watch the collision sequence of Cameron's film. Homework assignment --> write five questions on any Titanic topic

Day Two: I answered student questions and explained my version of the collision scenario.

Day Three: Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources. Spent the class period examining primary sources and secondary sources. Students read a variety of documents, ranging from the US Senate Hearings to the limitation of liability documents. We also looked at secondary sources and discussed the virtues (or lack thereof) of history written by non-historians.

Day Four: Titanic Quiz. Also watched parts of Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss.

Next year I think I would devote another day to this topic. I would assign each student a "witness" and have them read and summarize the US Senate and/or British Inquiry testimony. An interesting thing to do might be to have them judge which witness is the most useful or valuable.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>An interesting thing to do might be to have them judge which witness is the most useful or valuable.<<

Well, if you really want to open up a can of worms, you might ask your students to try and judge which witnesses were the most credible and which were not.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Why, Michael? That would only get discussions going, and isn't that part of the point - to explore the possibilities, impossibilities, reason why, and reasons why not, etc. That's what we do here.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Okay. I thought by your comment above that, perhaps, you were against it. the "opening up a can of worms" doesn't suggest anything positive, but I can see where you were implying how that can be a good thing in a learning environment.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Indeed it can be. Anyone can just read anything from a book, but it doesn't always follow that you actually learn anything. But if you kick things around, really take a hard and critical look at what's in front of you, question what's there and what's being claimed...you get the picture.

Rote memorization and actually understanding and learning...*knowing* what you're dealing with...well, they're very different animals.
 

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