Good Thoughts from the World History-U.S. History Praxis II Exam
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The scope of the test is essentially "the basics" of high school history. It's just that the questions on the test can cover any of the basics—everything from Asian empires to important U.S. legislation of the 1920s. The questions are drawn from a range of knowledge that no single student could ever expect to learn in high school, and that no single teacher could ever expect to teach—at least not in a single year. Some of the questions were on topics I had really only ever learned about during my junior year in A.P. World History—seven years ago. Four years of earning a college degree in history hadn't even brought me around to thinking about those things again.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed taking the test. I don't think standardized multiple-choice tests are great pedagogical tools at all, but I get this weird joy from doing well with them, and adults don't get many chances to take tests on a regular basis. (In contrast, I think American K-12 students take far too many.)
|Google's first image result for "multicultural history" (source)|
In the end, I was most happy about my Praxis II "World and U.S. History" because there were several questions on the test that I knew my Tribal Scholars students would have answered easily. I felt vindicated to see that some of the knowledge I've worked to have my students master is also valued by others—even if they're test question writers. No doubt, I've had some bumps in the road teaching world history and government this year, not following all my intended plans or addressing as much content as I wanted to. (It's my first year teaching!) Still, I've led my students to explore the past, and I think we'll keep learning lessons from it together. Two and a half months remain until graduation! Three months remain until the end of the school year!