By Jermaine Thibodeaux
Undeterred by Hurricane Harvey, a dedicated group of history educators gathered at the Houston Community College campus to strategize ways to revive struggling introductory history courses at two- and four-year universities. Attendees at the AHA’s 3rd annual Texas Conference on Introductory Courses were treated to rousing presentations by those in the trenches and by state policymakers determined to breathe new life into these struggling courses.
By Nancy Quam-Wickham
Imagine a crowded room where students—shoulder to shoulder—worked frantically to complete architectural drawings. As the moment to submit their projects approached, an aide pushed a little cart (the “charrette”) through the classroom; students were required to deposit their drawings as the cart passed. Those not yet done with their work leapt into the cart, adding finishing touches to their designs as the cart passed drafting tables. The exercise was a loud, raucous, frenzied, stressful, though profoundly creative experience.
By Jonathan Lee
On August 5 and 6, the AHA held its second annual Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses at San Antonio College. The conference, which was established as a space for instructors of introductory history courses in the state to meet with each other and explore innovations surrounding teaching and learning history in informal networks, built on discussions and initiatives from its previous gathering in August 2015 at the University of Texas at Austin. The 60-plus attendees represented a diverse group of history educators from four-year, two-year, and dual-credit programs.
Every student currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a public college or university in Texas is required to complete six credit hours of US history, a standard that suggests more uniformity than it delivers.
The AHA and its local partners, the Texas State Historical Association and the history department of the University of Texas at Austin, held a two-day conference on college-level introductory history courses.
Today we are pleased to launch curricular materials developed by faculty participating in the AHA’s Tuning project. Since 2012, the Tuning project has provided a collaborative forum and process for history faculty to articulate the central skills students gain by studying history.
John Bezís-Selfa teaches the history of the Americas at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and serves on the leadership core of the AHA’s Tuning Project.
In an effort to highlight the diverse range of scholarship at the upcoming annual meeting, we’re highlighting different sessions on the blog each week.