Mrs. Katherine Reddy
Social Studies Teacher
"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything that anyone has ever said about it." -James Baldwin
Hello and welcome!
I am Katie Reddy and this will be my eighth grade year at Westwood. I graduated from Arizona State University with my bachelor’s degree in secondary education and my master’s degree in history. This year I will be teaching IB/MYP Honors American History (sophomores, covering pre-contact North America through the Civil War) and year one of IB History of the Americas (juniors, covering Reconstruction through the social movements of the 1960’s and 70’s).
More than anything, history is the study of perspectives and how we interpret them. Rather than a stagnant, infallible record of the past, how we understand history is forever evolving and reshaping. To truly engage in the content in a meaningful way, students must not just learn history, they must also have opportunities to act as historians themselves. By engaging in the process of history and practicing the methods used by historians, students can embrace the complexity of history in a meaningful way that encourages critical thinking, historical empathy, independent thought, creativity, and the thoughtful discussion of ideas. Some questions that guide my classes include, “how do historians construct historical narratives?”, “what drives historical change?”, and “how do we decide what is historically important?” Questions like these prompt explorations into what forces shape history, why some stories get told and others do not, and the nature of historical objectivity.
My goal is that when students leave my class at the end of the year, they all will do so as open-minded and civically engaged individuals ready to negotiate a complex world with more critical, inquisitive, and empathetic minds and the skills and awareness to navigate and understand diverse perspectives. Meaningful history education is incredibly important to me, and I am determined to do whatever I can to ensure that it remains meaningful as we begin the year online. We face unprecedented challenges and I know that there is a lot of uncertainty about online learning. I’m right there with you! Our circumstances may be far from ideal, but I am confident that we will be able to navigate online learning together.