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Survey of the Survey: Learning Outcomes

In my last installment of the “survey of the survey” series I’m working on, I looked at what themes continuously reappear in our surveys. Moving from the top down, this post examines the learning outcomes—and in particular the skills—developed in survey level history courses. I look at this topic as the middle point between the…

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Inclusive Teaching in Exclusionary Times

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it feels like an out-of-body experience trying to write a post that engages with teaching and learning US History in this particular historical moment. My students are finding it difficult to remove themselves from their urgent and fraught present; my colleagues perhaps even more so.…

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Guest Post: Reading Letters

Continuing our series on the ways we bring research into the classroom, Christy Pottroff discusses how and why she uses physical letters as a pedagogical tool. Christy is a a Mellon Dissertation Fellow in Early Material Texts at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and a Ph.D. candidate in English at Fordham University. Her dissertation, “Citizen Technologies:…

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Teaching Spatial Theory Through Music

The sensory and emotive associations of place hold the most immediate connection for people when they think of a familiar landscape setting.  In teaching spatial theory, music about place can be an excellent pedagogical tool that instructors can use to engage students in thinking about the way space is constructed in the songwriter’s mind. This…

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Keep it 100

When I’m putting together my syllabi before the start of a new semester, I tell myself, “This is when I’m going to get it right. I’m going to assign just the right amount of reading. I’m going to come up with inventive and engaging lecture topics. And most importantly, I’m going to make sure the…

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John Welching It

Last week, I looked at my syllabus randomly sometime after 3:00pm on the way out of the office having just finished a lecture on the Election of 1796 with my Tuesday-Thursday survey. I expected to see, next to the date of then-tomorrow’s class, something to the general effect of “The Federalist Era,” or maybe, if…

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Verb Tense, and Pronouns, and Commas, Oh My!

It was officially midterm week in my U.S. History class last week. My exams – at least for the larger introductory courses – typically have two components: an in-class multiple-choice portion and a take-home primary source analysis paper. One of my goals in the survey course is to manage the flow of information from reading,…