Ideally, history (and literature, and science, and all the Veddy Veddy Serious Subjects) should only be taught using heavy, dull textbooks, quoting the most stuffy experts, no fun allowed.
… If you have read my blog at all before this, you know this is the opposite of how I feel. I respect academia, obviously, but see no reason why the facts (which do not include “revisionist history,” by the way) can only be approached in a dry manner.
Take, for instance, that great Tudor entertainer William Shakespeare. I’ve read his works and I’ve taught his plays to high schoolers. But before I ever cracked open a Shakespearean play as a student myself, I learned — and still remember — part of “Romeo and Juliet”‘s famous “Queen Mab” monologue from this trippy Duran Duran video. True story. The monologue-bit starts at 1:15.
It’s not how you learn your Veddy Veddy Serious Subjects. It’s that you remember the details, even years later. And the bonus is when you have fun getting there!