Playing with data

I found a useful site for those of s trying to measure inflation rates in the 1960s in Argentina (not an easy task, mind you). Here is an example for the years 1958 to 1964-years in which Raúl Colombo was president of the Argentine Football Association and Argentina was under (mostly) democratic rule.






And here is a chart in which you can select data ranges and use various display features, such as median rate:


teaching & learning history on the web

Recently I commented on the possibilities that sports (in this case the World Cup) offers teachers to make history relevant to students, to authentically “hook” them in the material. As educators, it is an often daunting challenge to engage students when you consider that their world is 24-hour information at the touch of a button (or a click on their laptop), instant information, bite-sized presentations, and (if they choose) catered to their own tastes and sensibilities.

How can the perception of History, as a stuffy series of past events, matter with all the distractions on the web? It’s a question that interests me: how can new media authentically engage students in history and expand the arsenal of history educators? How does new media further (not simply with bells and whistles) the teaching and learning of history?

The American Historical Association presents a series of links to some of what their members rate as great websites for teaching and learning history. Take a look and feel free to comment.


the world cup & classroom teaching

Beyond the potential Angela Sutton cites for using football as a lens to better understand South Africa (and its history), the World Cup also offers educators an opportunity to teach history through the match-ups found between the 32 teams. The championship game pits the Netherlands and Spain-two countries with a long and intertwined history. Likewise, previous games were also fraught with interesting sub-plots: Portugal and its former colony of Brazil, England and the United States, France and Mexico (think Cinco de Mayo), Spain and its former colonies of Honduras and Chile…and that’s just the first round games!

If we were to re-visit past World Cup classics, like Argentina-England in 1986, we can quickly use the tensions behind the games to better understand the political history involved, as well as the sporting history countries often share. In this case, England introduced football to Argentina in the 1880s and the two nations shared an often contentious sporting relationship leading up to the Falkland/Malvinas War of 1982 and the now-classic Quarterfinal match-up four years later.

The story is fascinating, and strong enough that it forms a part of my own historical research. For students, the World Cup offers an opportunity to make history come alive in the classroom and provide authentic and real engagement with the curriculum. Even if South Africa, or the continent at large, is not part of your curriculum, the international diversity of the participating teams provides educators with plenty of fodder. Lastly, the World Cup is also an excellent bridge to modern issues such as globalization, tribalization, national identity, regional differences, gender in marketing, and religious tensions. Thanks to Angela for this timely blog posting.