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Dylan Monshaugen

History, mythology, and maps have fascinated me from a young age. Arranging the separate puzzle pieces of historical resources and knowledge into a full, understandable picture was a hobby I’ve had since I was a child, but my love for history as an academic discipline began in high school under several extraordinary teachers and access to college level courses.

I parlayed that love of history into a Bachelors of Arts in history from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. During my time in school, I absorbed as much history as I could. While studying in college, I always kept the goal of bringing more specialized areas of history that university-level courses often focus on to younger students. The history courses I took as a kid taught me strong reading, writing, researching, and thinking skills, but the content often felt boring or even repetitive after years of hitting the same topics. I noticed that college level courses allowed for more choices of historical interest while also teaching those same skills.

This perspective of the differences between college history education and education at lower levels of academia has driven my time here at Next Level. While I offer the introductory courses that are so integral to building a foundation of historical knowledge – such as general world history and US history – I make it a priority to build alternative classes that allow students to approach familiar historical eras or topics from different perspectives or in new ways, all the while focusing on building researching, writing, and critical thinking skills. My hope is that, if your student can pursue a topic that interests them, they can better learn the skills history is meant to teach. Knowing the precise date of the Battle of Agincourt is great, but if you leave my classes with a better understanding of analyzing topics and using research-based evidence to prove your claims, that is even better! And I firmly believe that studying a subject that interests a student, rather than following a strictly laid out path, will help build those skills and ultimately a better relationship with the field of history.

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