A Vision for History at Community Colleges

Historians in the News

History as a discipline is most popular as an undergraduate field of study at liberal arts colleges or research universities — institutions that attract well-prepared students. Professors at community colleges in the Seattle area are trying to find ways to attract more students, in part by accepting that many of those they want to educate view the field as boring, thinking of it as “just memorizing names and dates.”

To reach the students, these professors are working on a two-pronged strategy. First, they are preparing exercises that link students’ lives to the study of history. Second, they are focusing on basic information literacy and research skills, which their students tend to lack. The combination appears to be working, even as these professors teach not to the idealized seminar room of the stereotypical history scholar, but in classes of 35 students or more — many of whom have full-time jobs.

The professors described their approaches here at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Brian Casserly of North Seattle Community College uses assignments in a U.S. survey history course to teach the basics of conducting research and writing a research paper — something most students don’t know how to do....
Read entire article at Inside Higher Ed

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