Goals in Teaching the World History Survey: Research
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- My 2006 Hist 500 syllabus,
which at the bottom has links to the "practical" (how-to teaching) texts
that I hand out to my TAs. The
syllabus itself shows how I try to work with my TAs in the
course, and how discussion sections are integrated but independent.
In 200w I'd like to talk about the "Global
Village" handout for the first section meeting, and how it can set a tone for the course. Here are the main readings from the 500 syllabus
again, but in order of importance (1a, 1b and 2 are short; Wineburg is longer; Gross Davis is just for your benefit):
- Carole Srole, "Scaffolding Research Skills in a non-research class," AHA Perspectives, Jan. 1998.
- I don't use these techniques specifically, but I share the goal of teaching research skills in a survey course.
- See also Robert Townsend, "'Best Practices:' Encouraging Research Excellence in Postsecondary History Education," AHA Perspectives, Oct. 2000, esp. "Encouraging Student Research," points (f) - (o).
- E.D. Hirsch, Jr., "You can always look it up--Or can you?"
American Educator, Spring 2000 (pdf
at American Educator website; html
at Hirsch's coreknowledge.org website)
Samuel Wineburg, "On the Reading of Historical Texts: Notes on the Breach between School and Academy," AERJ 28:3(Fall 1991), 495-519. (pdf)
- I tend to be a "skills, not facts" person (i.e., I don't really agree with Hirsch), but I think it is indeed important not to forget that we need a basic framework of factual/core knowledge
into which we can integrate new knowledge.
Barbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993). This is my all-time favorite book with practical advice on designing any course and teaching it.
- Wineburg has conducted studies of how differently historians and non-historians (the latter including high school history teachers) read primary sources. Keeping this in mind will help to keep you from throwing up your hands in frustration at your students' seeming ignorance, and show you what you may need to teach them. Getting them to "think historically" in this way is my primary goal in teaching a survey course such as this.
- See also these excerpts from a summary discussion of Wineburg's research by Robert Bain, which he presented at the 1999 World History Association conference.
- This article was republished as chapter 3 in Wineburgs book: Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Philadelphia: Temple, 2001), 63-88. ($26/20 at amazon) -- a wonderful book.
- hyperlinked table of contents; $34 new/$22 used and searchable at amazon
- chapter 9: "Encouraging Student Participation in Discussion" (pp. 75-80)
- chapter 10: "Asking Questions" (pp. 82-89) (pdf). Eight pages that can change your section style forever.