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"Do your Research!" John Turek History Teacher
Episode 224th June 2022 • Fixing Chicago • Paul Bryan Roach
00:00:00 00:41:23

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1 - Intro: Interview with History Teacher John Turek on the importance of teaching and learning History to children, the practical value of knowing your local history, the joys of teaching junior high students, and how we can understand and improve our city by knowing the history of other cities.

2 – Guest bio: John Turek is a recently retired History teacher (30+ years) within Chicago and Oak Park areas.

3 – Timestamps:

[00:30]  Intro to John Turek, History Teacher, and his background

[03:30]   What draw into Education

[07:30]   Why study History?

[10:30]  4 key ideas on History

[14:30]   Teaching Junior High Students

[17:15]   What historical examples apply to Chicago today? For example, the Chicago Machine.

[24:00]   Is this the first time this has ever happened?

[30:00]   Sit, Think, Read, Analyze

[32:00]  What does one city have to learn from the history of another city?

[36:35]   You should have seen that coming.  Do your research.

4 – Key Takeaways:

—Need to study History to understand context of your life, generate meaning, and understand the others around you.  Also, Biological perspective: H. sapiens the only species so minimally instinctual, and History learned from elders, others, imparts survival value.

—4 key ideas on History: customs (learned ideas), values (what a certain culture considers to be important), Institutions (families, schools, hospitals), and Beliefs (what a certain culture believes to be true).  Most of what we now think we know comes from a “cultural” perspective.  These help us understand “why I do the things I do.”

—The reward taken from student growth, and from your own growth and adaptation as a teacher

—Chicago’s 77 different cultural enclaves & have their own sense of place :  if you know the history of your enclave you can see things that you didn’t understand about your present.

—Know your history, but be careful of the history you do read. Understand where your history is coming from.  Do your Research.

5 – Links:

6 – Please “like” us and follow the show on your favorite podcast platform, visit for more content, and follow on Twitter @PaulBryanRoach




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