Public Policy in Teaching Historical Methods
Sunday, January 4, 2015
2nd Floor Promenade (New York Hilton)
I have struggled with how to insert how history impacts the world today into my “Introduction to Historical Methods.” By the nature of the course, it is technically oriented, providing the “nuts and bolts” for how to do research. I had made small changes to the course trying to highlight how history informs us on larger questions and policy public. The focus of my proposed poster session is to illustrate how I have integrated a public policy question into my historical methods course. I have begun a conversation regarding using history as a way to inform the public and public policy. The poster session would focus on the types of assignments that I have used to help students better understand how history can be used to inform current public policy debates. In addition, I will compare how having a specific class-wide topic compares to allowing students determine what public policy issue they want to examine. The goal of shifting the course from focusing solely on traditional historical research is that students will gain greater appreciation and respect for history and its impact on society. As a profession, history has become marginalized by those seeking an undergraduate education. At Thiel College, we are attempting to make history’s role in influencing public policy more evident to students and parents, who wonder what role history plays in the 21st century.