Ted Dickson, chair of the Upper School History Department, has published a new workbook, Historical Practices, Skills, and Course Themes, now available for use by U.S. history students across the country.
He collaborated with fellow PDS history teacher Mike Lindquist on an accompanying Document-Based Questions Workbook. Both volumes accompany the national Advanced Placement U.S. History textbook By the People, by James W. Fraser of New York University, which is used as the primary textbook in Providence Day’s AP history classes and many others nationwide.
Fraser approached Dickson to suggest the project after learning of Dickson’s involvement in chairing committees that redesigned the AP U.S. History course and national AP exam in recent years.
For the workbook, Dickson compiled nearly 450 pages of original sources from U.S. history, ranging from diary entries of ordinary citizens to sermons by ministers to inaugural speeches by U.S. Presidents, and then he wrote accompanying research questions to challenge students’ understanding of the documents and the role they played in history. “This teaches kids key skills they need to be a historian,” Dickson said. For students’ part, they said they enjoy learning from a book written by their own teacher: “I know it’s going to pertain to what we’re learning,” said junior Ellie Zanoni.
It’s the latest professional recognition for Dickson, who has been an influential voice in U.S. History classrooms since joining the PDS faculty in 1991. He has been a consultant to the College Board since the 1990s and has made dozens of presentations, published multiple articles, and edited a previous history textbook in 2008.