Teaching Making Comparisons: Strategies for Teaching Historical Thinking in the Introductory Survey Classroom

AHA Session 200
Saturday, January 7, 2017: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Mile High Ballroom 2A (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Lawrence G. Charap, College Board

Session Abstract

Helping students to think historically is a crucial goal for introductory survey courses in different historical disciplines. This session focuses on different ways that instructors in college and AP survey courses in European, United States, and World History build students' proficiency in the skill of making historical comparisons between actors and events in disparate locations and different times. Presenters will discuss specific sources and teaching strategies that help students make valid historical connections and inferences. Colin Baker will discuss the development and importance of West Indian colonies and their impact on Europe, Africa, and North America during the 17th and 18th centuries, addressing how the topic can serve as a case study for comparisons in the European History survey. Angela Lee will explore how World History students can use primary sources to compare and contrast the impact of Indian Ocean trade on European sea empires and the fledgling United States of America. Finally, Chris Capozzolla will discuss how a comparative framework can help students understand the Cold War in a broader context in the United States History introductory survey.
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