First Person History
A different way to look at our Shared Heritage.
Why The Madera Method
The Madera Method: Rich and Fertile Ground for Doing History
I Am Bill Coate.
William Coate, longtime Madera Tribune history columnist, city historian, and coordinator of the innovative Madera Method publishing program, presents this fantastic collection of early Madera views that are sure to surprise Maderans everywhere. Drawing upon personal collections and those of the Madera County Historical Society, Coate paints a complex picture of where the city has been and where it’s heading.
What people are saying
“The Madera Method should be adopted for the rest of the country. If several hundred thousand teachers start interesting their students in contemporary projects, we’d have a literate nation.”
"Students in junior high school teacher Bill Coate’s U.S. history classes in this San Joaquin Valley town not only learn history, they write biographical novels."
“It was the most amazing and impactful experience of my life! The way we dove into history to write this book was absolutely amazing! Writing this book was the best thing I could have ever done at such a young age. Mr. Coate, you have been and will always be the teacher to impact my life; that experience was amazing!!”
“Handouts and dittos have almost no value in teaching today. The Madera Method would show them how to seek the information they will need to know to think critically and motivate them to learn. An added bonus will be to lessen behavioral problems and build confidence in students at that awkward age.”
“The project made me like history a lot more because we had first-hand experience. Mr. Coate always keeps the subject alive in class. I don’t want it to end.”
"The Madera Method project was a lot better than the traditional method of reading a chapter and answering questions. It kept us going and kept our interest focused solely on the book, and you learn something new every day.”
“The Madera Method is something that’s right here at our fingertips, but utilizing the community is not something we think about in teaching. I can’t wait to get back to tell the people on the curriculum writing committee about this. They are going to eat it up.”
“All of you (Madera Method students) have shown how collaboration bridges the gap between generations. You have also shown scholars of all ages can make important contributions to our sheer body of knowledge….”
“Writing the story of a local leader’s life is important. We don’t have much on the history of our community. This (Madera Method) has reaffirmed my commitment to do something, and I realize the students can do it as a project instead of me having to do everything.”
“Education doesn’t have to be insular any more. We can be anywhere and work with anyone in the world. The sky is the limit.”
“I think it is very important to learn how they do investigations, how they write their books and become authors. It will be very interesting to find out how it was back then.”
“When we first started doing the project we had to be motivated, and Mr. Coate did that. We never thought we could write a book, but each new document got us more and more excited. I know now I am capable of writing, and we’ll always remember that we wrote a book together as a class.”
“We were working on a book, and we got the kids to reach out to a class in Northern Ireland. They emailed their questions, and the students there sent back responses to the questions. My students were excited every day to come to class and look for responses and compile their research.”