Teaching and Learning History

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  • 1.  Teaching History to Undergraduates: A Regional Conversation

    Posted 05-20-2014 07:10:00 AM
    This message has been cross posted to the following Discussions: Teaching and Learning History and Tuning Grant Committee .
    Dear Colleagues:
    Today, historians will gather at St. Francis College in Brooklyn for the  "Teaching History to Undergraduates: A Regional Conversation."  Below I have pasted the agenda for those who are interested.  

    Teaching History to Undergraduates: A Regional Conversation

    9:15-10am Check-in 
    Lobby area of the Genovese Hall

    Morning Address: "Why Tuning?"
    Room: Genovese
    Welcome remarks provided by Timothy Houlihan, Provost of St. Francis 
    Introductions provided by Elaine Carey, Vice President of the AHA Teaching 
    Morning Address by Jim Grossman, Executive Director of the American 
    Historical Association 

    Session I   
    Participants can elect to join any of the following four discussions. All discussions will be introduced and moderated by a facilitator but are designed to be active discussions in which all participants exchange new ideas and successful practices. 
    Advocating for History: the Role of the Department Chair in Assessment
    Room 5401
    Facilitator: Elaine Carey

    Hands-on History: Teaching Skills in the Archives
    Room 3213
    Facilitators: Eric Platt, Sara Haviland, and Brooklyn Historical Society staff

    Developing and Assessing Writing Assignments in Undergraduate History Courses
    Room 4403
    Facilitator: Emily Tai

    Recruiting, Retaining, and Transferring History Majors from Two to Four Year Institutions
    Room 4202
    Facilitators: Sarah Shurts and Julia Brookins

    Session II
    All participants have been assigned a regional group designated by a color on their nametag. The purpose of this second session is to begin what will hopefully become an ongoing conversation about transfer of history students between two and four year colleges. While these discussions might eventually result in articulation agreements, the initial conversations can begin with discussion of the expectations we have for students at each level: entering freshmen, Junior level transfers, and graduating seniors. What should be the expectations for historical thinking skills, research skills, and coverage of content at each level? What problems have you and your students encountered with transfer and articulation? What skills do transfer students seem to be lacking and how can this transfer gap be closed?  Should two year colleges offer courses beyond the traditional introductory surveys? How can we promote seamless and successful transfer from high school or community college to four year college? 

    Room 5401
    Facilitator Elaine Carey

    Room 3213
    Facilitator Eric Platt

    Room 4202
    Facilitator Sarah Shurts

    Room 4403
    Facilitator Emily Tai

    Room 4306
    Facilitator Sara Haviland

    Luncheon and Afternoon Address
    Room: Genovese 

    Introduction provided by Julia Brookins, Special Projects Coordinator for AHA
    Afternoon Address by Dan McInerney, Tuning USA Advisory Board, Lumina 
                      Foundation for Education Advisor, AHA Tuning Project 
    "A Beginner's Guide to Tuning: Starting the Discussion with Your Colleagues"

    Closing Discussion
    Room: Genovese

    Continuing the Tuning Project and Other Initiatives of the AHA
    Facilitator: Julia Brookins
    Closing discussion: What Needs to Be Done?
    How can we be better advocates for historical study? What is the role of history in general education? How can we promote historical thinking at all levels to close the transfer gap?

    Elaine Carey
    St. John's Univ., NY
    Queens NY

  • 2.  RE: Teaching History to Undergraduates: A Regional Conversation

    Posted 07-21-2014 02:44:00 PM

    Hello all,

    I know it's the dead of summer, but I was hoping some of you might have thoughts about this article from Inside Higher Ed, about the role of disciplinary majors in the future of liberal arts education.  It sounds like they are talking about some of the pathways-style majors, but maybe part of the is that, in history at least, the division between introductory courses and upper-level courses is too exclusively about broad vs. narrow content, and less about how to build students' proficiency in research, analysis, communication, and other skills through an iterative course sequence?  My question is, can we imagine disciplinary history courses that are built around considerations of the whole cognitive progression for students, not just around the chronological or geographic scope of the cases they will encounter?
    Curious to hear what kinds of alternatives to the traditional start-big-finish-small course catalog people are considering.

    Also, I felt like the article didn't really explain why there were so few students in upper level courses if 80% of Mary Baldwin undergraduates are liberal arts majors.  Did I miss something?


    Julia Brookins
    American Historical Assoc.
    Washington DC