tara strauch

Teaching Holidays

Once again this academic year, I face a strange teaching week; my 16 day January term course on the history of American holidays will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day today and examine the inauguration on Friday. When I realized months ago that these two holidays would fall In the same week, I was thrilled…

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From Survey to Elective: Connecting through Learning Outcomes

What differentiates learning outcomes at the survey and elective levels in American history courses?  This semester I taught ONLY the U.S. survey. Next semester, I’m teaching the survey, a team-taught introductory American Studies/transnational course on Nazism and American culture and politics, and an upper level elective in U.S. Economic History (History of American Capitalism). As…

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Assumptions and the Survey Course

My four year old is oh-so-helpfully sitting beside me while I write this blog post.  I told him I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about and he helpfully told me I should write about something “I really want to write.” Thanks kid. Mostly he is mad because he wants to type nonsense words…

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Spatial Resource Mashup For the Classroom

Instructors who are interested in applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to history teaching in the classroom can do so through integrating web based activities. Classes designed in this way would consist of two components – a lecture and computer lab time. In providing students with an introduction to GIS and geospatial data, learning concepts involving…

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Winter is Coming

So, this has certainly been a year. Almost unbelievably, it’s already December and the semester is quickly winding down. Soon, students and faculty  will retreat to neutral corners for a month to try and get our wind back before the next round starts. At this point, it’s tempting to already start looking towards what comes next…

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Teaching the 1960s in the Age of Trump

As they have for many teachers – including some on this blog here and here – the results of the presidential election have raised both old and new questions for me about teaching United States history. I taught two sections of U.S. History, 1865-present the morning after the election, still shell-shocked at the election of a man…

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The Soundtrack of the Survey, 1865-Present

This guest post comes from former contributor Patrick Iber. Patrick is assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he teaches courses in U.S. foreign relations, transnational history, and Latin American culture and politics.  You can read his past posts here.    Like many other professors do, I’ve integrated good deal…

tara strauch

‘Tis the Season for Responsive Lecturing

A few years ago I went to a pedagogy round table at a conference. It was an excellent panel which involved some small group discussion. One of the members of my group proclaimed that they, “would never lecture again. The flipped classroom was the only way to teach.” I was taken aback by this statement…