Teaching Transforming the US History Survey

AHA Session 141
Saturday, January 9, 2016: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Regency Ballroom VI (Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Lower Level 1)
Shannon Bontrager, Georgia Highlands College
Sara Haviland, St. Francis College
Kimberly D. Hill, University of Texas at Dallas
Nancy Quam-Wickham, California State University, Long Beach
Joy Schulz, Metropolitan Community College

Session Abstract

The introductory US History course is the lynchpin of general education programs and history majors across the country. But extenuated content-coverage models and high student failure rates in many settings undercut what should be the best opportunity for us as historians to teach our discipline. How can we turn the intro course from an obstacle into a true gateway to higher learning?

This session will feature specific examples of courses that faculty have transformed, and audience discussion of the goals, methods, and lessons for developing sophisticated courses that provide students more of the cornucopia of skills, ideas, and research that history has to offer.

Faculty from two- and four-year institutions will show how (and why) they changed what they do in the classroom and what it has meant for students so far. Presenters will share their expectations for the introductory course, how they address differences in student populations, how they incorporate learning research and what is new in history scholarship, and how conversations among faculty at different institutions can help revitalize history curricula from the bottom up.

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