Let the Faculty Debate
Here's a way to innovate in teaching history: create a course based on debates over critical issues. Jay Schalin of the Pope Center doesn't mean student debates; he means that two faculty members should argue formally over issues such as (in American history) the national bank vs. the gold standard,"manifest destiny," the Monroe Doctrine, and, of couse, slavery vs. abolition.
Jay's argument in favor includes a sample syllabus for an American history course.
comments powered by Disqus
Allan Walstad - 10/26/2009
The question is whether you can get faculty to commit to a potentially embarrassing one-on-one debate in front of students. The closest I came was some years ago when I taught a freshman seminar on controversial topics and invited colleagues with different views (than mine) to sit in on some of the discussions. There were also a few occasions when my offer to make a pitch for libertarianism in a social science class was accepted. I tend to favor a formal, structured debate on topics of disagreement, but it's hard to get a stand-up opponent. Maybe we're just wimps at my college.
- T. rex fossils arrive at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
- Quote of the Day -- Time Magazine's Top 100 People
- Investigation: The Resegregation of America's Schools
- 5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture
- In Parts of the South, Glorifying Slavery No Longer Pays the Bills
- UC Berkeley professor emeritus Robert Harlan dies at 84
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!