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MTEL History Questions: What Really Matters

mtel history questions
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MTEL History Questions: What Really Matters

I wanted to give you some insight into how we think about and teach history here at ETI.

We approach teaching history “thematically” by thinking about the zeitgeist (“the spirit of the times”) of a particular period. We can think beyond the dates of specific events and understand the hows and whys of those events. 

Specific dates, actually, aren’t super important on the MTELs. Understanding a general timeline and sequencing of events and major players and themes is much more important.  

Typical MTEL History Questions 

The General Curriculum Multi-Subject or Early Childhood MTEL would never ask you:
“On which of the following dates did the Civil War begin?”
A. April 19, 1775
B. April 12, 1861
C. November 11, 1918
D. December 7, 1941

However, you could get a question that reads:
“On April 12, 1861, which of the following conflicts began? “
A. The American Revolution
B. The American Civil War
C. World War I
D. World War II

By knowing a general timeline of US history, our students can easily answer the second question — and they can identify the conflicts associated with each of the above dates.

Comprehension Over Memorization 

Exploring the prevailing perspectives of and influences on the people living at a certain place and time lets us understand history, not just memorize a list of facts and dates. 

For example, what is the prevailing zeitgeist concerning gay rights in the 2020s compared to what is was in the 1990s?  Would “gay marriage” ever have been legalized in 1984 or 1994? No way! The most liberal politicians would never have supported it.  There were those who advocated gay rights and marriage back then, but they were considered part of the “lunatic fringe.” Times change. To understand those times, we must think in terms of how people experiencing that history thought about and understood the events we now look back on. 

What shaped civilization in 7,000 BC?  How did the new world order after the fall of the Roman Empire shape art in the Middle Ages?  What changes about peoples’ perspectives and priorities during the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance? How did the experiences of the Crusaders help move the Middle Ages towards the Renaissance? What guides the thinkers of Enlightenment and how does this reshape the world through revolution?  

Why did the British Colonists in the Americas decide to fight the most powerful empire in the world for independence? What is important to understand about The Industrial Revolution? Gilded Age? Progressive Period? What about the Great Depression or the World Wars? What is the one thing to keep in mind when answering MTEL history questions about any Cold War-era?

The ETI Difference

With the multitudes of events and people who have influenced our history, what should we focus on to prepare for an MTEL?

Memorizing historical facts is difficult. Thinking about history so we understand makes it comprehendible. Using Disney movies as examples whenever we can helps too. There aren’t many programs that will make allusions to Disney cartoons like Robin Hood, Pocahontas, or The Incredibles to illustrate points. 

Discover the ETI difference.

We will teach you how to approach these exams and how to understand what you need to know. 

I guarantee it.

Chuck Zucco

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