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“Indigenous” versus “Indian”: What Word Should Be Used?

This blog is a continuation of a study deriving from an “Exchange” in the journal of the American Historical Association. The title of the Exchange is “Living with the Past: Thoughts on Community Collaboration and Difficult History in Native American and Indigenous Studies.” It consisted of a review of two books on King Philips War (1676) and one organization, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA).

The first blog I wrote on this Exchange addressed the critique of and the defense of the NAISA and its scholarship by the participants (Native American and Indigenous Studies: Another Culture Wars Episode).

The second blog on this Exchange, Violence and Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), focused on the subject of violence in one of the two reviewed books. For whatever reason, the author of that book did not participate in the Exchange while the author of the other book did. The absence of the author’s participation meant the accusations about the shortcomings in the scholarship were not refuted.

In this blog, I wish to address a topic not included in the Exchange but implicit in it. This has to do with the terminology used by the scholars, specifically the words “Indigenous” and “Indian.” In many instances the author has no choice – the reference is to an organization, conference, book or article title which has the word “Indigenous” or “Indian” in it. I did not scrutinize the Exchange to differentiate between when the use of a term was the author’s choice or not. In 32+ pages of the journal, the word “Indigenous” was used 110 times. In the same space the word “Indian” was used 34 times. This roughly 3:1 ratio is not a scientific experiment. I suspect many of the 34 times the word “Indian” was used in the Exchange was because the author had no choice, for example if one was referring to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian or the American Indian Quarterly. The question I have, in baseball terms, is what is the value added in the use of “Indigenous” over “Indian”? What is the reason for the change?


Speaking of the NMAI, I had the opportunity to participate in three online presentations by the NMAI since I read the Exchange. In all three instances, an immediate question raised or anticipated was what to call “Indians.” Since many of the participants were teachers and the NMAI specifically was reaching out to the education community in these programs, the urgency and immediacy of this question suggests that teachers do not want to commit a politically incorrect faux pas and be hauled off before the Thought Police by a white parent of a white student claiming insensitive and disrespectful language is being used in the classroom.

The NMAI is well aware of the situation. It even has prepared a “cheat’ sheet teachers can use. In general terms the Indian and white instructors in these sessions say that the people prefer to be called who are they are whatever that particular tribe or nation name happens to be. This makes sense.  One says Japanese-American about an American citizen of Japanese descent for instance. When referring to people collectively, say not to Polish-Americans but to all Americans of European descent, then the preferred terms according to the NMAI are American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native which can be used interchangeably.

NMAI is aware that the term “Native” can be problematic. The reason is Americans born in the United States are native Americans as well (see If You Are a Native New Yorker, Are You a Native American?: The Weaponization of “Native” and the Culture Wars). In fact, since I started writing this blog I have come across multiple attestations of people being referred to as native New Yorkers or of a particular borough. True, one person’s ancestors can have been a Native American earlier than when your immigrant ancestors first had a child born in the United States, but one’s “nativeness” is determined at your birth, not by you parents or distant ancestors. At some level the NMAI may be aware that privileging one group as more “Native American” than another group can be a micro aggression to a non-Indian person born in America.

Strangely enough, the term “Indigenous” did not come up in these sessions as a suggested name for Indians. For more on this topic see Warrior, R., “Indian,” in B. Burgett and G. Hendler (eds.), Keywords for American Cultural Studies (2014). Personally, I think “Turtle Island people” or “Turtle-Island-Americans” would be a more respectful name. It draws on the actual Indian culture without privileging it.


The question remains what is the value added of the term “Indigenous” instead of “Indian”? One may also add what the purpose was in the invention of the term in the first place?

Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians out of Existence in New England is a book by Jean O’Brien who participated in the Exchange. The description of the book is:

Across nineteenth-century New England, antiquarians and community leaders wrote hundreds of local histories about the founding and growth of their cities and towns. Ranging from pamphlets to multivolume treatments, these narratives shared a preoccupation with establishing the region as the cradle of an Anglo-Saxon nation and the center of a modern American culture. They also insisted, often in mournful tones, that New England’s original inhabitants, the Indians, had become extinct, even though many Indians still lived in the very towns being chronicled. This book argues that local histories became a primary means by which European Americans asserted their own modernity while denying it to Indian peoples. Erasing and then memorializing Indian peoples also served a more pragmatic colonial goal: refuting Indian claims to land and rights. Drawing on more than six hundred local histories from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island written between 1820 and 1880, as well as censuses, monuments, and accounts of historical pageants and commemorations, the book explores how these narratives inculcated the myth of Indian extinction, a myth that has stubbornly remained in the American consciousness. (Bold added)

In the book there are no uses of the term “Indigenous” and 7 examples of “indigenous.” That suggests to me the usage is based on the traditional meaning as native to a place. Exactly when “indigenous” shifted to being “Indigenous,” I don’t know. The book also uses the term “Indian” approximately 1500 times. Evidently there was no problem in the Indian author using the term “Indian” and no obligation to use “Indigenous.”

On the book jacket, Philip J. Deloria, who also was part of the Exchange, wrote:

Driven by a creative reading of hundreds of local histories, Jean M. O’Brien’s Firsting and Lasting reinvigorates the old question of the ‘vanishing Indian‘ in surprising ways, taking readers into the contradictions surrounding race and modernity, and offering an ur-history of the politics of tribal termination, dual citizenship, and cultural politics.

Deloria is the author of the three books Playing Indian, Indians in Unexpected Places, and Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract.

The book jacket description of the book is:

In Firsting and Lasting, Jean M. O’Brien argues that local histories became a primary means by which European Americans asserted their own modernity while denying it to Indian peoples. Erasing and then memorializing Indian peoples also served a more pragmatic colonial goal: refuting Indian claims to land and rights. Drawing on more than six hundred local histories from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island written between 1820 and 1880, as well as censuses, monuments, and accounts of historical pageants and commemorations, O’Brien explores how these narratives inculcated the myth of Indian extinction, a myth that has stubbornly remained in the American consciousness.

 This description provides a constructive basis for individual historical societies in both the three states mentioned and elsewhere to examine how the Indian stories in their own communities have been dismissed, ignored or erased. That is consistent with my previously stated view that historical societies should tell the story of their land from Ice Age to Global Warming. The identification of the Indian history would seem to be a productive undertaking although I doubt most individual historical societies have the resources to do so or that there sufficient number of experts who can be consulted to help them.


Unfortunately, local historical societies may not have gotten the message that it is acceptable to investigate the Indian history in their own community. Here is one example.

“Village Erasing ‘Indian’” was the front page headline of an article in The Freemans Journal, Cooperstown, New York. It seems that a Village trustee noticed the wording on a history marker at Council Rock, an Indian meeting place where the Susquehanna River flows out of Otsego Lake. The resident was shocked to see the text was: “Council Rock: Famous Meeting Place of the Indians.” The Trustee was aghast saying:

“I was shocked that I hadn’t noticed it previously. The sign refers to Native Americans as ‘Indians.’ It’s racially insensitive and incorrect, and it needs to be updated.”

That outrage sparked another Trustee to voice concern about another sign about the Indian Grave a few blocks from the meeting.

The first Trustee expressed concern about “this moment of social awareness and racial awareness” in the United States and called for contacting the New York State Department of Education responsible for state history markers. It was felt that the village needed to get out ahead of the “problem.”

A more intelligent Trustee commented that the “we shouldn’t assume what is politically correct or culturally correct. We need to do our due diligence.” This comment demonstrates the elevation of politically correct standards as the basis for rendering a decision. Think about that for a moment. A village government acknowledged that it was obligated to comply with politically correct standards even though Indians have expressed no objection to the term. The only issue for the village was the determination of what those standards was.

The reporter concluded the article with the droll comment that “The Indian Hunter” statue, the most famous statue in the village, was not mentioned during the deliberations.

As one might expect, the June 22, 2020, meeting led to a community response on the newspaper’s website. Here are some salient remarks.

1. One resident expressed the notion that to be truly sensitive to Native Americans meant returning the lands in Cooperstown taken from them. He suggested starting with the lakefront homes of one Trustee and the mother of a second Trustee.
2. One anonymous resident went to the NMAI website showing the information reported above. It noted the acceptability of the term “Indian” and the preference to call Indians by their tribal name.
3. A third resident responded to the oversight of not mentioning the Indian hunter statue. After all, hunting depicts Native Americans in a stereotypical appearance that could offend someone. [Apparently hunters are an offensive image to Indians. Indeed it is hard to image any culture anywhere at any time having a hunter as a hero.] This person went on to call for the removal of the statue of James Fenimore Cooper and changing the names of Fenimore Park, Fenimore Museum, and Cooperstown itself. After all, who knows what might be offensive to someone in the future. Ironically this article appeared in the local paper [yes, one still exists in Cooperstown] right next to right my blog Schuyler Owned People: Should Schuylerville Change Its Name? which the paper had published. This resident may have been speaking tongue-in-cheek as the comment ended: “Better to take it all down and change all the names. George Orwell would be proud.”
4. One resident was rather upset. “Who in the hell said ‘Indian’ is racist? No white person has that right? And it if was offensive, don’t you think it would have been changed years ago.”

The reference may also have to a previous village project which involved working with Mohawks and Oneidas where the issue of “Indian” hadn’t been raised.

The answer to the resident’s question about who determined the word Indian is racist would seem to be white people, not all white people, just some white people as this editorial states in discussing a related issue on the use of the term “Native American.”

Native American vs. American Indian: Political correctness dishonors traditional chiefs of old

This editorial by the Native Sun News Editorial Board (Sioux) in Rapid City, South Dakota began with that question and an answer.

Who decided for us that we should be called “Native Americans?”

It was the mainstream media of course….

The activist Russell Means preferred the name American Indian. He would say that just as you have Mexican Americans, African Americans, or Asian Americans, you should have American Indians….

During the activist days of the 1960s and 70s the U. S. Government responded to the activists’ protests by proposing the term “Native American.” And so the anti-government activists decided to accept the name Native American, a name suggested by the United States Government, a government that they despised. Say what?

That sad part of this entire fiasco is that so many of the so-called “elitist Indians” have allowed themselves to be bullied into using the name “Native Americans” and even “Native” by a white media that seems to have set the agenda for what we should be called. [The questions then to be asked is why did these white people did this and since whites are the dominant culture, what can Indians do to resist?]

One elderly Lakota man from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation said recently, “If some Indians want to be called Native Americans or Natives, let them be called that, but I was born an Indian and I shall die an Indian. [This comment matches the words of Marc Lacey, the National editor of The New York Times: My father was born a Negro. Then he was black. Late in life, much to his discomfort, he became an African-American (John Lewis and “the Sad Demise and Eventual Extinction of the American Negro”: Erasing History).

So if you travel to any Indian reservation out west you will soon discover that nearly all of the indigenous people refer to themselves as “Indian,” especially the elders who are still fluent in their Indian language. As Chief Oliver Red Cloud said a few years before he died, “I am Lakota and I am Indian.”

As an Indian newspaper we must be very careful that what we call ourselves is not dictated to us by the white media. We have been Indians for a few hundred years and the name carries our history. Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Little Wound (Read their quotes) all called themselves “Indian” and they said it with pride. Should we dishonor them by saying they were wrong?

Political correctness be damned: We will use “Indian” if and when we choose. We will not be intimidated by the politically correct bunch or the white media.

The question raised by the teachers and the debate in Cooperstown suggest if Indians have not been intimidated by the politically correct, then non-Indians have. That still leaves open the question of the value added by using the term “Indigenous” instead of Indian.

To be continued.

Building Bridges between Historians and K-12 History Teachers

This post continues the report on the education session from the annual conference of the American Historical Association. It derives from a blog by Sari Beth Rosenberg. She is a U.S. history teacher and writer in New York City. Shei helped write the new social studies high school curriculum for the New York City Department of Education and is also a frequent curriculum consultant at New-York Historical Society. Specifically she wrote about a session on January 5th at 8:30AM organized by the AHA Teaching Division, “The Role of History Educators in a Time of Crisis.” The first part of the session was covered in the previous post The American Historical Association: Status Report on the Field of History This post covers the other presenters.

Joe Schmidt (New York City Department of Education)’s Passport to Historian-History Teacher Collaboration

He explained that he views curriculum and curriculum development as an important forum for teachers and historians to work together. That has been a major part of the model for the New York City Department of Education teacher-created curriculum. Schmidt shared the process in creating the Passport to Social Studies, the NYC DOE teacher-created curriculum aligned with the 2014 NYSED Social Studies framework as well as the New York City Social Studies Scope and Sequence. So far, the Social Studies team has created curriculum for K-10 (45 unit guides total).Grades 11-12 are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

This description hones in on a critical element in the education process: control over the curriculum. Typically at conferences one learns about what one teacher or one historical society did. Such efforts live and die with the one teacher or principal who supports such cooperation. Not even all the teachers in a single grade in a single school or school system may join in. And when the initiating teacher leaves, the initiative dies. Rarely is the presentation about a school system or district change yet alone a state-wide change. Here it would seem that New York City can go its own way, an option few school districts have.

Schmidt shared that the key to creating the curriculum was a shift to focusing on pedagogical content knowledge, where history educators translate historical research results into developmentally-appropriate material for students. Therefore, a major change in the new curriculum is a greater focus on historical thinking as the foundation, not having students memorize a laundry list of facts. To help teachers and students with this change, Schmidt and the curriculum team created a series of Historical Thinking Skills Tools. These one-to-three page organizers help scaffold students work with historical concepts, including “Continuity and Change Over Time” as well as “Turning Points.” For example, the Turning Points Tool allows students to not just say why a particular moment was a turning point, but it also challenges them to unpack if it was a turning point and the implications of this in history.

Aside from bridging the work of historians into the curriculum used by history teachers, Schmidt hosts a series of History Book Talks, open to all New York City social studies teachers. Over the years, he has invited many high-profile historians, including Joanne Freeman, Kevin Kruse, Julian Zelizer, and Kevin Gannon, to discuss their work with history teachers, often resulting in a lively Q&A, where both content and pedagogy are discussed. These book talks are a successful model of how to forge connection as well as collaboration between teachers and historians.

I applaud the bringing in scholars to talk to the teachers. Obviously not every teacher in the NYC school system could attend. Nor can such scholars visit every school system. In the IHARE Teacherhostels/Historyhostels where we visited historic sites, guest presentations by scholars were part of the program. Again, not every teacher can attend such programs and I felt constrained as to how often I could invite a scholar to participate without abusing my welcome. What this highlights is not only the need to change the curriculum, specifically for local and state history, but to change the teacher training. If the certification and professional development process required learning about local and state history, then one would not need to invite the luminaries; the colleges offering undergraduate and graduate credit would be obligated to teach local and state history as part of the certification process. Similarly the professional development programs would do the same.

In the general discussion, Schmidt shared that part of his job is reaching out to historians every day, oftentimes cold calling them. Nine times out of ten they respond to his calls. He encouraged classroom teachers to reach out to nearby colleges and universities.

How often do you get called by a teacher?

Trevor Getz (San Francisco State University)’s Inside Scoop on How the “Economy of the Academy” is Affecting Pedagogy

As a history professor, Getz was able to provide more insight as to why pedagogy is often ignored at the university level. He shared that he thought he was a good teacher based solely on the fact that his “student evaluation scores were high.” Getz did not really “engage with history education” until getting involved with the development of the New York City Department of Education Passport curriculum. Only in that capacity did Getz begin learning about backward-design and the other mainstays of curriculum development. He revealed: “We (as college faculty) get very little professional development.” In fact, if a college professor does end up getting sent to a PD in pedagogy, it is punishment for low student evaluation scores.

Getz explained that integral to understanding why pedagogy is essentially ignored at the university level, one must understand the “economy of the academy”: a system solely based on getting your research published, in particular “the monograph.” As long as you have reasonable teacher evaluation scores, your main focus in academia is based around your research. This system makes it so that historians do not value conversations with teachers where they can talk and learn about pedagogy. Since there is little to no interaction between the two parties, the survey courses taught at the college level “deviate very little from high school standards.” For the most part, professors do not take into account what students might have already learned in high school.” What ends up happening is that the history survey courses are a terrible introduction to learning about history on the college level. Getz concluded his remarks with this important point: “Without vertical integration between teachers and university faculty, we do not get a sense of how to move from 9-12 to 13-16 grades.”

One common if not standard session now at history conferences involves careers outside the tenure academic track. These sessions are for the graduate students facing dismal hiring prospects for the traditional college professor position. They also acknowledge the publish or perish mantra that dominates the profession. One problem is the skill of history professors as teachers in their own undergraduate classes. Subject knowledge does not equate to teaching skill to impart that knowledge to others. A related challenge is teaching k-12 history teachers to be effective as k-12 history teachers. These skills don’t rank high in the university arena.

Getz explained that until a cultural shift happens at the college and university level, professors won’t deviate from the existing system. However, he cited AHA’s Gateway Project as being at the forefront of change.

In the discussion, Martell, covered in the previous blog, emphasized that universities need to incentivize history professors to work in schools and make it a part of their work to collaborate with K-12 teachers. However, he stressed that it is crucial to teach content and pedagogy together.

One way to reach teachers was online through blogs.

Martell suggested that since teachers don’t have time to use whole texts in their classes, historians can publish a short blog piece when they publish a longer article.

Schmidt added that this is a great idea as long as historians add citations to the abbreviated blog pieces.

I think this is an exciting idea. Fulltime teachers tend not to have time for book-length studies or academic articles assuming they even had access to them (see the previous blog for that issue).  If school districts and/or state education departments identified specific topics based on the curriculum where teachers would benefit from say, 1000 word blogs, that would spread the scholarship far beyond the teachers who could be reached in a classroom. Admittedly, Martell and Schmidt probably were thinking of national issues and not state and local ones. But consider the possibilities. Suppose a scholar wrote about such centennial issues as women’s suffrage or prohibition. Then the local scholar could write about what they meant in the individual community. Of course there always would be the risk of a student learning that great-grandpa opposed the women’s’ vote or operated a speakeasy! Not only would such blogs provide content information, they also would serve as models for high school students as to what a term paper should look like.

Lots of things are possible but without the support of the people who control the curriculum, everything is likely to be piecemeal and ephemeral.


The American Historical Association: Status Report on the Field of History

The American Historical Society (AHA) held its annual conference earlier this month. In addition, it has released some messages of interest. In this blog, I cover two news items and part of a conference session on “Building Bridges Between Historians and K-12 History Teachers.” The news items are:

1. Making history information more accessible to the history community even if one is not a member of a given organization or institution (like a college).
2. The status of history majors today.

From the Executive Director

Research Access and Scholarly Equity

James Grossman and Becky Nicolaides | Jan 10, 2020

Access to research materials—both print and digital—is crucial for any historian engaged in scholarship and teaching. For historians working outside of well-resourced colleges and universities, gaining access to these materials has become increasingly difficult, particularly with the increasing breadth and depth of commercial databases often accessible only to scholars affiliated with a well-resourced university.

This trend is an often-overlooked aspect of the changing landscape of historical research. More and more research material has been digitized by commercial database companies, who then control its dissemination. These firms rely on institution-to-institution contracts with large, well-funded university libraries. Historians working within these universities have full access, while those on the outside are excluded, placing them at a severe disadvantage in their ability to produce first-rate scholarship and excel as teachers. For a complex set of reasons, providers rarely offer individual subscriptions to scholarly databases. At the same time, contracts with vendors often make it difficult (or even impossible) for libraries to grant access to individuals outside these institutions. These structural barriers create difficult challenges for many historians….

Faculty with inadequate access cannot keep up with the latest scholarship for teaching and have circumscribed access to the primary sources that enliven a classroom and stand at the center of highly regarded history pedagogy….

Many independent scholars, museum professionals, public historians, and K–12 educators share the common status of nonaffiliation with a university, which excludes them from remote access to important databases. Recent degree recipients are cut off from library access upon graduation, impeding their ability to continue research and publication to better situate them in job markets or continue their research activity regardless of where they are employed….

The AHA encourages history departments to provide full library access to their own scholar alumni and to unaffiliated historians in their regions. History departments and academic units can play a positive role by supporting the scholarship of their alumni and by bringing more unaffiliated scholars into their orbit. Providing these historians a university affiliation—whether as a visiting scholar or by whatever means is feasible—will help close the gap between those with and without adequate research access. These actions will enable every historian to fully realize their potential as scholars and contributors to our discipline.

To read more click here.

History Enrollments Hold Steady as Department Efforts Intensify

Results of the 2019 AHA Enrollment Survey

Julia Brookins and Emily Swafford | Jan 15, 2020

Ask any department chair, and most faculty, what the most vexing data point during the academic year is and the most likely answer would be “enrollments.” In a data-obsessed age when it seems everything is tracked and analyzed, few data points matter as much in higher education as enrollments. For many institutions, department funding is tied directly to enrollment numbers. Courses that don’t meet minimum enrollment requirements are canceled, snarling the distribution of teaching responsibilities among faculty and narrowing the intellectual range in the curriculum. Fluctuations in enrollments and majors—a close relative of enrollments data—are cited as reasons to create or cancel tenure lines. A lot is riding on what academic slang calls “butts in seats.”…

Nonetheless, the AHA’s survey continues to identify strategies faculty can use, in conjunction with administrative partners, to address the lackluster trends. Respondents with stable or increasing enrollments described several concrete strategies to attract students. These included offering more online courses, hiring charismatic junior faculty members to teach new courses that students find exciting, and expanding departmental recruitment activities. In addition, successfully recruiting majors and minors, as might be expected, had a positive effect on overall enrollment.

To read more click here.

The Role of History Educators in a Time of Crisis: Building Bridges Between Historians and K-12 History Teachers

The following is excerpted from a blog by Sari Beth Rosenberg. The author is doing what I do when I write about the proceedings of conferences. She is doing so at the direct request of the AHA.  She is a U.S. history teacher and writer in New York City. Sari helped write the new social studies high school curriculum for the New York City Department of Education and is also a frequent curriculum consultant at New-York Historical Society. Specifically she wrote about a session on January 5th at 8:30AM organized by the AHA Teaching Division, “The Role of History Educators in a Time of Crisis.” The panel was chaired by Joe Schmidt (New York City Department of Education) in conversation with Trevor Getz (San Francisco State University), Christopher Martell (University of Massachusetts Boston), and Judith Jeremie (Brooklyn Technical High School). She writes that she left the session determined to redouble her efforts in finding more ways for historians and history teachers to join forces in meaningful ways. This is a subject near and dear to me. See most recently County Historian’s Roundtable: Lessons from Putnam County.

Chris Martell’s Two-Way Bridge Between Historians and Teachers 

Based on his paper, “A Two-Way Bridge: Building Better Partnerships between Historians and History Teachers/Teacher Educators,” Martell’s main message was that we need to move from historian/history teacher interaction to collaboration. That means we need to start presenting at each other’s conferences [see Putnam County blog] and utilize more digital platforms for sharing our resources and teaching strategies. He began by discussing how there are a few thousand self-identified historians and professors in the United States, but there are currently 1.1 million elementary school teachers. These educators are often overlooked when we talk about who teaches history. Meanwhile, beginning in 2008, we have experienced the steepest decline in history majors. Considering that 18% of 300,000 history majors report they wish to pursue careers in K-12 education, this does not bode well for the future of public education. How do we stoke the flames of enthusiasm for the study of history?

Martell’s answer is to partner history teachers with historians. In his studies, he found that K-12 history teachers often struggle to keep their content updated with the latest research and struggle to find helpful resources. They find historians inaccessible, most school-based professional development is not focused on content, and most of the history journals are not open-sourced. Martell realized that social media has become the new territory to best improve interactions between historians and history teachers. In response, he started a social media campaign, #BridgingHistoriansandTeachers, to get historians and history teachers to follow one another. It has been an effective venture thus far. In thirty days, Martell followed 42 historians. 33 of those historians followed him back and promised to follow back any K-12 historians who followed them. If Martell’s initiative continues, he hopes that historians and educators can learn about each other’s work and engage in meaningful conversations about classroom activities. He also emphasized the need for more PD opportunities that link content and pedagogy so teachers can actually implement the material in their respective classrooms. He cites the University of Massachusetts Boston/ Boston Public Schools model as one to which we should emulate.

Martell has touched on the issue of content and of being current in history scholarship. Presentations at each other’s conferences is a step in the right direction, but how many people can attend a national, state, or regional conference? And besides social media there still is something to be said for face-face discussions. After all, teachers still teach their students in the classroom. Here is where we need to examine the requirements to become a social studies or elementary school teacher and then to maintain one’s status once one becomes one. This includes the classes offered in the certification process and the professional development programs needed to keep teachers current. It also means as regular readers of my blog know, going out to the places where history happened and meeting with the local history museums and societies. It means attending summer programs that occur elsewhere or outside the school room. There are limits to what history organizations can accomplish in working with teachers if the system is rigged against teacher involvement with history organizations. And the history organizations themselves need to keep up with what the scholars are doing. Think of the NPS study on Imperiled Promise (for the last of multiple blogs on this topic see Imperiled Promise: History and the NYSOPRHP. It’s not just the elementary and social studies teachers who have a “history deficit.” When do the history staff at museums and historical societies get to learn what’s going on in the academic world?

So as not to make this blog too long, I will continue reporting on this AHA session in my next blog.

Sessions of Value at the American Historical Association Even If You Can Not Attend: Civics

The annual conference of the American Historical Association will be held January 3-6, 2019, in Chicago. I will not be attending the conference. I have reviewed the program book and there are many sessions which are of value to history organizations, municipal historians, and educators. Below are the abstracts of these sessions. If someone is attending the conference and would like to report on them to the history community, that would be appreciated.

This post focuses on sessions related to civics. The previous one addressed education. Some of the papers presented are available on the web by clicking on them.

Historians and the Public Sphere in Turbulent Political Times

Chair: Daniel M. Bessner, University of Washington
Panel: Daniel M. Bessner, University of Washington
Patrick Iber, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Nancy MacLean, Duke University
Rebecca Onion, Slate Magazine
Alejandro Velasco, New York University

Session Abstract

Recent political developments in the U.S., including the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency of the United States, have engendered an outburst of popular historical writing. From books that explore the connections between the contemporary United States and the Weimar Republic to essays that analyze the deep-seated origins of American racism and xenophobia, historians have entered—and been welcome into—the public sphere in ways unimaginable as recently as two years ago. This roundtable, which consists of historians of various ranks, genders, and backgrounds, will address the problems and prospects of professional historians writing for a broader public in a moment of profound transformation and anxiety.

While historians have been encouraged to fight for the influence of our ideas in the public sphere, the conditions now making that possible seem fraught with potential problems. Trump, after all, campaigned on a platform that derided expertise, and described reported facts as “fake news.” How do professional historians cope with an environment in which many of their arguments raise present-day political concerns? Is there a risk of normal professional work being branded as a partisan activity—as something akin to “fake history”? At the same time, social media platforms make possible the wider dissemination of our work and allow us to interact with readers almost immediately. But they can also create the possibility of writing for popularity rather than complexity, or they bring with them the risks of abuse and harassment.

This roundtable will discuss the manifold public roles professional historians may play in the present moment. Questions we seek to address include: How do we balance roles as writers, activists, and pundits? How can we write effectively for a larger audience? How can historians bridge the gap between the academy and the public? To what ends should they do so? Can historians and the public learn from each other? How can we respond when we become the center of a public firestorm? And, perhaps most importantly, how should we think about professional obligations and responsibilities in these unsettled times? By examining these questions in depth at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, we hope to begin a conversation that will reverberate not only throughout the seminar halls of the university, but in the public sphere as well.

Loyal to Their Own Cause: African American Public Memory, Commemoration, and Contestation

Chair: W. Fitzhugh Brundage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Papers: Who Are the Real Americans? African American Civil War Memory and Narratives of Loyalty Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“Legacies of Triumph”: African American Women’s Memorialization in Public History Sites
Alexandria Russell, University of South Carolina

“Belles Who Were There . . . 1960 Sit-Ins”: The Gendered Narratives and Commemoration of the Greensboro Sit-Ins Jasmin C. Howard, Michigan State University

This Costume Called My Skin: Black Historic Site Interpreters on the Front Lines of Public Memory Elon Cook Lee, Rhode Island School of Design

Comment: The Audience

Session Abstract

Loyal to their own Cause: African American Public Memory, Commemoration and Contestation is an exploration of how African Americans have been publicly memorialized in the contested physical landscape of the United States thereby critically engaging memorialization in both the North and South. The controversies surrounding the removal of Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Durham, Baltimore and various other southern locales last year has sparked conversations about how legacies are commemorated in contested spaces and thereby represent contested loyalties. Historically the South has been situated as a terrain fraught with racial violence and trauma where contestation associated with race has often led to blood shed. Contrastingly, the South is simultaneously situated as a homeland and a place of comfort. Engaging the South as a site of both collective pleasure and pain for African Americans, panelists seek to further examine the troubling of dominant and often limited southern narratives about African Americans throughout history. Relatedly, panelists seek to transgress narratives that frame the South as the predominant space for scholarship on early African American History by exploring the North as well as a contested space. Prior to the twentieth century Great Migration to the North, the North was a space of dynamic and complex African American life. Further, the lives of enslaved and free African Americans in the North during enslavement deserves further study. The history of African American life in the North during and after enslavement was also a site of pain and pleasure which is exemplified by the violence of Northern slavery and twentieth century urban race riots coupled with the opportunities that the North presented for African Americans fleeing the South during enslavement and Jim Crow.

Understanding the distinct contours of how African Americans have been memorialized highlights the intersection of race, gender, class, and space in public history. Panelists will examine the trajectory of African American commemorations from the seventeenth century to the modern-day, through their discussion of the roles of enslaved men and women in the North through an examination of current public historical interpretation in New England, freedmen and freedwomen as memory crafters of the Civil War, the commemoration of African American student activism at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and African American women’s memorialization in the 1970s. In short, this panel seeks to make three notable interventions. We seek to showcase efforts by Black southerners to commemorate their past and contest White southern public memory because White Southern nostalgia or the lost cause is but one type of loyalty. African Americans are also committed to their own narratives and memory. Secondly, we seek to examine African American commemoration as a gendered process. Lastly, we seek to examine both commemoration in the North and South in order to produce rich scholarship and public history that is more reflective of true African American life. Timely in nature, we assert that to understand American historical memory we must reconsider African American public history through an examination of contested memory and spaces throughout the United States.

The American Revolution in World History: A Teaching Roundtable

Chair: Thanasis Kinias, Northeastern University
Panel: Marcus Filippello, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Jason Herbert, University of Minnesota
Amy-Elizabeth Manlapas, The Paideia School
Serena Zabin, Carleton College

Session Abstract

This round table will address the conference theme of ‘loyalty’ through a discussion of teaching the American Revolution in world-historical context. The standard narrative of the American Revolution is familiar and seldom problematized in survey courses at the high school or undergraduate level. Placing the American colonial rebellion in its global historical context gives students access to unfamiliar perspectives: British, French, and Spanish; Native American/First Nations; African diaspora; and so on. The participants in this round table are high school teachers, doctoral students, and university faculty members. They are both Americanists and world historians, with specializations that include the British Empire, Indigenous history, British and Spanish colonial America, and Africa.

Each panelist will speak briefly about how she or he uses world-historical context to challenge students’ preconceptions about the American Revolution. The chair will then moderate a conversation among the panelists and audience about how each other’s approaches can enhance all of our teaching of the American Revolution.

This round table is sponsored by the World History Association, which is committed to facilitating discussion of world history pedagogy among teachers and academics.

Prison/Education: Historians Take on a National Debate

Chair: Robert Smith, Marquette University
Panel: Jessica Neptune, Bard Prison Initiative, Chicago
Claire Potter, The New School
Shana Russell, Rutgers University at Newark
Liz Ševčenko, Rutgers University at Newark
Heather Ann Thompson, University of Michigan

Session Abstract

What role should historians be playing in the debate about mass incarceration in the United States? This roundtable proposes that understanding the role that “prison” plays in the American social order offers multiple opportunities for engagement, critique, publicly engaged scholarship, and activism. With these opportunities also come responsibilities to different constituencies. Participants in this roundtable will speak about their engagement with one or more of the publics engaged in rethinking the role of mass incarceration in our society: our students, in and out of prison; prison authorities and employees; a public that is often divided about the utility of prison for the social order and the justice system; public funding for scholarship that encourages debate but prohibits the politicization of that debate; and a reading public that requires well researched scholarship to re-engage and re-evaluate the rise of incarceration in our society.

Roundtable participants include a best-selling popular author who engages popular audiences, media producers, incarcerated people and their families; two directors of a public history project who facilitate college students doing community-based historical research on the local impact of incarceration; a scholar who taught a college course on comparative incarcerations under the auspices of the NEH Enduring Questions program; and the Director of the Bard College in Prison Project in Chicago.

The Student as Citizen: Loyalties, Disloyalties, and the Politics of Education

Chair: Jon Hale, College of Charleston

Papers: “To Participate in Their Own Destinies”: Detroit’s Community Control Movement and the Struggle to Redefine the Black High School Student as Citizen Dara Walker, Penn State University

The Moral Politics of Divestment: South Africa, the Anti-apartheid Movement, and American Higher Education in the 1980s David Busch, Carnegie Mellon University

Learn for America? American Studies in the College Classroom, 1945–60 Mario Rewers, Vanderbilt University

Comment: Andrea L. Turpin, Baylor University

Session Abstract

In 1965, Fredrick Rudolph published a small essay titled, “The Neglect of the Student as a Historical Tradition.” As the title suggested, he lamented the lack of scholarly attention paid to students and the way they shaped ideas of education. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rudolph wrote this piece in 1965, a year after the 1964 Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley captured national headlines. Historians since have taken up his call, especially scholars of social movements who have brought to light the ways student activists helped establish black, ethnic, and women studies on American college campuses. This panel continues in this tradition and brings together scholars who explore the relationship between students and state institutions (social, educational, political, and cultural). How did state institutions conceptualize students as citizens? What mechanisms or practices did these institutions use to realize their vision of “the student as a citizen”? How did students respond to these practices and mechanisms? And what politics and social forces did they marshal in their responses? The scholars of this panel take up these questions, among others, in their papers that explore students and politics in mid-century America.

Sessions of Value at the American Historical Association Conference

The annual conference of the American Historical Association will be held January 3-6, 2019, in Chicago. I will not be attending the conference. I have reviewed the program book and there are many sessions which are of value to history organizations, municipal historians, and educators. Below are the abstracts of these sessions. If someone is attending the conference and would like to report on them to the history community, that would be appreciated.

This post focuses on sessions related to education.

On the Front Lines of History: Educators at History Museums, Archives, and Historic Sites

Chair: Annie Polland, American Jewish Historical Society (and formerly at the Tenement Museum)
Panel: Maria Marable-Bunch, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
Emily Potter-Ndiaye, Mead Art Museum
K. Allison Wickens, George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Lauren Zalut, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Comment: Annie Polland, American Jewish Historical Society

Session Abstract

As boundaries between public and academic history break down, there is increasing acknowledgement of the role that museums, historic sites, and archives play in teaching history to broad and diverse audiences. Yet many focus on the role of curators in shaping historical narratives, overlooking the essential role played by education staff at public history sites. According to the American Alliance of Museums, approximately 55 million students visit museums in school groups alone each year. Museum educators also shape the work of teachers and educators, the general public, scholars and content specialists, and many more.

This panel brings together experienced leaders in the field of museum education to examine the integral role that educators play in teaching historical content and the practice of history at museums, historic sites, and archives. Panelists will analyze different models of museum education in various contexts, consider the intellectual, administrative, and pedagogical challenges and opportunities that educators and administrators face daily, and propose new methods of collaboration between public history and academia.

Educators often serve as the main point of contact between an institution and many different publics – K-12 educators, K-12 and college students, general visitors, tour attendees, and others. The panel will discuss the pluses and pitfalls that arise in “translating” an institution’s exhibitions, documents, objects, and mission to diverse audiences. It will lay out different models of educator training and content oversight that leading institutions have adopted, and discuss institutions are best able to support the training of education staff. It will consider the essential role that educators play in making history accessible to underserved audiences – especially school-age children. It will analyze the key role educators play in communicating audience needs to the content specialists. It will highlight challenges that administrators at institutions of different sizes face when advocating for equitable compensation and treatment of often part-time education staff. Finally, panelists will suggest modes of partnership between public history educators and academic historians, and consider key lessons that academic historians can learn from the practices of the field of museum education.

Creating Connections: Historical Scholarship and the K-12 Classroom

Chair: Rachel B. Reinhard, University of California, Berkeley
Panel: Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest, Tracye A. Matthews, filmmaker and independent scholar, University of Chicago
Nikki D. Mandell, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Don Romesburg, Sonoma State University

Session Abstract

Scholars and K-12 educators have long worked in isolation from one another. More recently, historians have sought ways to inform, through the most recent academic scholarship, the historical questions that are asked and narratives that are shared in elementary and secondary classrooms. This panel will share three distinct efforts that have 1) advocated for the expansion of topics included in state standards, 2) compiled usable resources for educators, and 3) developed curated and contextualized source sets for use in K-12 classrooms. Don Romesburg, who recently has been recognized by the AHA for his role in ensuring a fuller implementation of the FAIR Act, a California law which was passed in 2011 to incorporate LGBT history and the history of people with disabilities into K-12 US History curriculum, will discuss how scholars reviewed the existing History-Social Science Standards in California, revised them based on recent scholarship on gender and sexuality, and followed the governmental process of adoption of the state’s new History-Social Science Framework. Angela LeBlanc-Ernest and Tracye A. Matthews represent the leadership team of the Intersectional Black Panther Party History Project. These scholars of the Black Panther Party wanted to increase instruction around the role of women in the Black Panther Party. Through the creation of a website and compilation of resources, in addition to public events for educators, they have made a broad array of vetted resources available to educators across the country. Nikki Mandell has led an effort from within the Labor and Working Class History Association to increase instruction of the history of labor in K-12 classrooms. LAWCHA members have begun creating source sets that can be easily accessed by teachers to increase explicit instruction around labor history. Additionally, Mandell has convened labor historians to identify opportunities, parallel to the passage of the FAIR Act in California, in which scholars can inform and broaden instruction in the history of labor.

Collectively, these individual efforts attest to the academy’s commitment to informing meaningful history instruction in the K-12 classroom and offer models to other scholars with regard to how their research can influence broader audiences. Rachel B. Reinhard, the director of the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, which seeks to bridge the K-16 continuum through its location in the Department of History at UC Berkeley and their programming for K-12 teachers in the Bay Area, will chair the panel. This program would appeal to scholars who are interested in public applications for their scholarship and in developing partnerships with the K-12 community.

K-12 Educators’ Workshop: History in Your Backyard: Remembrance and Commemoration
Organized with the Library of Congress

What is the relationship between remembrance and commemoration? What roles do monuments and memorials in our communities play in both reflecting our collective past and allowing us to engage with it? This interactive workshop will begin with a keynote by Adam Rothman, Georgetown University, on research he is conducting at the Library of Congress (LOC) as a Kluge Fellow. This will be followed by a primary source analysis workshop conducted by Rothman and Lee Ann Potter and Kaleena Black of the Library’s new Center for Learning, Literacy, and Engagement, drawing on documents in a variety of media from the collections of the Library.
No charge; because space is limited, free advance registration is required.

Across the K-16 Continuum: Collaborative Conversations and Possibilities for History Education

Chair: Sarah Gold McBride, University of California, Berkeley
Panel: Daniel Diaz, University of California, Los Angeles
Whitney Snow, Midwestern State University
Robert B. Bain, University of Michigan
Angela La Torre, Mt. Diablo Unified School District

Session Abstract

This roundtable will discuss the benefits of sustained collaboration between scholars, practitioners, and teachers from K–12 and postsecondary settings. Panelists will share their experiences creating and participating in networks between educators working in different settings, and the opportunity for these partnerships to transform history education for students at all levels, including doctoral students. The conversation will include panelists’ reflections on one example of this type of partnership: the Teaching History Conference, a network of educators dedicated to engaging in collaborative conversations about teaching history across the K–16 continuum. The Conference, first held at UC Berkeley in 2015, leverages the teacher network of the California History–Social Science Project (CHSSP) and builds on the American Historical Association’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative. These partnerships create a unique opportunity for participants to foster a community of practice among history educators from a wide range of schools, colleges, and universities.

In the next post, I will present sessions related to civics.

Conference Reports: The American Historical Association

As the year draws to a close, I thought I would do a series of posts about history conferences in 2017. This series will include both conferences I attended and those I did not. Not everyone can attend every relevant national history conference yet alone the state and regional ones. Even within a conference, it often is not possible to attend every session since there are concurrent ones. It would be helpful if people who do attend history conferences would write about them for New York History Blog and share the information with those who did not attend. It might even spark some discussion if we had a viable forum for having such a discussion.

The first conference to be covered is the annual January one of The American Historical Association, the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions. So it is being written even as the January, 2018, conference is at hand. I did not attend this conference in Denver. I did review the program and here ae the sessions that caught my eye as being relevant to even those of us who did not attend. These sessions are education focused particularly for the high grades and community and 4-year colleges. The challenge of finding a job is a perennial session.

Tuning at the Two-Year Institution:  Teaching and Learning on the Front Lines of History Education

As noted in a 2012 report by the AHA, “two-year institutions are on the front lines of many debates concerning higher education.”  In this roundtable panelists raise questions about the day-to-day teaching concerns of two-year faculty.  Audience members will then offer responses and propose suggestions based on their own experiences.

Sarah Shurts will discuss ways in which history educators can make changes, even small ones, to their teaching methods and their material in order to better address the historical thinking skills, concepts, and competencies that are essential to our discipline instead of simply covering content. She will show how her community college courses and expectations for student learning are evolving due to the introduction of the Tuning process.  In particular, she will discuss how the student learning objectives in the Tuning core can be scaled to suit the particular needs of community college introductory surveys while still introducing and developing the historical thinking skills and research methods that are essential to the major.

Too often the impulse at two-year colleges is to load students with content before they can eventually engage in disciplinary thinking at a four-year institution or in graduate school.  This impulse can be especially pronounced when dealing with community college students who have varying degrees of knowledge and academic skills.  Tony Acevedo and Michele Rotunda, however, will suggest that content coverage should not trump developing the habits of mind associated with the discipline.  Analyzing evidence, engaging in debate, and answering essential questions – all part of the historian’s craft – are examples of disciplinary habits that can be implemented to strengthen the survey course.  In particular, they will discuss how community college students often bring experiences and real-world skills that can be tapped into to develop historical thinking.

Although it has been three decades since Joan Wallach Scott called for the inclusion of gender as a category of analysis in historical study, Heather Bryson argues that it remains largely absent from survey courses in community colleges.  Gender is not the only underused analytical lens in introductory history classes. In general, historiography and historical theory are not taught at the community college level.  Bryson will provide a case study for the integration of theory (gender, class, race, etc.) into surveys based on how she introduces and embeds gender theory into her modern United States history course.

In a case study, Elizabeth Bryant will voice the specific challenges that community college educators face when teaching about human rights issues, especially in an era where much of the curriculum is dictated by set educational standards.  Another issue she will discuss is how students are often ill-prepared, both educationally and emotionally, to digest such difficult material.  Finally, she will offer suggestions on how educators can offer more practical tools so that students can become involved and stop the cycle of apathy to promote tolerance and understanding within both the local and global contexts.

Job Workshop for Historians

Bring your questions about what kinds of jobs are out there, as well as about composing a good job letter, creating a convincing c.v. or résumé, pitching your experience to a variety of audiences, and whatever else is on your mind as you seek a job using your PhD in history. Workshop facilitators will provide a mixture of one-on-one and group advice. Drop in or stay for the whole time. Bring your job letters, your c.v. and résumé, along, and let us comment on them for you.

The Professional Division will recruit volunteers who represent the wide range of job possibilities for Ph.D.s in history, including research institutions, four-year colleges, community colleges, secondary schools, museums, publishing houses, historical societies, national and state parks, and the business world to engage in informal conversation about strategies for finding a position in their field. Volunteers who have participated in the past have found the experience to be both personally and professionally rewarding.

Division vice-president Philippa Levine will make some brief introductory remarks, emphasizing the range of possibilities for Ph.D.s in history. Volunteers will then introduce themselves, and job candidates will sort themselves out for discussions according to their interests.

The Changing Scale and Scope of History Education: The C3 Framework and AHA’s Tuning Project

Since 2012, the C3 Framework (College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards) [NOTE – NYS FOLLOWS THE C3 FRAMEWORK] and the AHA’s Tuning Project have introduced major changes in history education.  The Tuning Project’s discipline core and the C3 framework both address common student learning goals including appreciation for change, continuity, and context; causation and argumentation; perspectives of historical observers, actors, and historians; and the development and use of historical evidence.  The C3 Framework encourages states to upgrade their K-12 social studies standards by offering robust guidelines to promote inquiry-based learning in History. The AHA Tuning Project works to “articulate the disciplinary core of historical study and to define what a student should understand and be able to do at the completion of a history degree program.” C3 and Tuning seek to accomplish similar goals in history education, just on a sliding scale of expectations for learning that is scaffolded [NOTE – A JARGON TERM REFERRING TO THE BUILDING BLOCKS] from elementary school through an undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, there has been little opportunity for these two groups to engage in a dialogue about their shared work until now. In this roundtable, historians who wrote and have interpreted the C3 framework and those active in the Tuning Project will exchange ideas about:

(1) redefining history education from K-20 in the United States,

(2) bridging between secondary school and post-secondary studies

(3) clarifying advice offered for college preparation, and

(4) alerting higher education instructors to the expectations of their incoming students.

K–16 History Education: Recognizing Interdependence and Moving toward Coherence

The teaching and learning of history must be a K-16 endeavor. In order to ensure that the discipline plays a vital role in the education of all individuals, it is crucial to recognize the interdependence of history teachers and history learners across the K-16 continuum. How do history teachers at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels engage students in discipline-specific reading and writing? How do they assess student learning? How do they make adjustments in their instruction based on their understanding of students’ strengths and weaknesses with respect to historical thinking? By the same token, how do history learners at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels come to understand the nature of the discipline? How do they demonstrate various aspects of historical thinking? To what extent can they articulate cohesive narratives about the past? The persistent questions above have been examined thoroughly in literature pertaining to historical thinking, learning in history, and the preparation of history teachers. Oftentimes, however, conversations have focused only on historical thinking, teaching, and learning at specific and often segregated grade levels. What do these ideas mean in the context of K-16 history education as a whole? What can all history educators learn from our students and from each other?

All teachers of history encounter students with various levels of experience; likewise, we bring various levels of experience to conversations about teaching and learning in the discipline. The purpose of this roundtable is to bring together elementary, secondary, and post-secondary history teachers in order to foster discussion and comparative scholarly research related to history teaching and learning across the K-16 continuum. Roundtable participants will share their respective qualitative and quantitative analyses of their elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students’ epistemological understandings and construction of narratives, and they will explain how they adjust instruction based on their students’ representation and framing of history. The audience will be invited to consider the ideas their own K-16 students bring to the history classroom and contribute to dialogues about how all teachers of history might engage in systematic and scholarly reflection in order to use evidence to better understand the learning needs of our students.

Tuning Disruptions: The AHA Tuning Project and Practical Suggestions for Rethinking History Courses, Assignments, and Curricula

The AHA’s “Tuning” project draws faculty into thoughtful discussions of the knowledge, skills, and abilities we seek to develop in our students through history courses and curricula.  One of the key goals is to make our implicit assumptions about historical study more explicit to learners.  We are asked to shift away from an individualized focus on  “my course” to a shared model of instruction grounded in the ways teaching assignments integrate with “our curriculum.” Historians are encouraged to open a broad conversation about our disciplinary principles by moving across 2-year/4-year institutional divides. We are also asked to discuss the learning outcomes for our field not only with instructors but also with a diverse range of “stakeholders” including students, alumni, parents, employers, and policymakers. And we come to understand the importance of reflecting more rigorously – and collectively – on the types of assignments we create for our courses, tying assignments as closely as possible to the “outcomes” we define for a class.

In what ways has the project, since 2012, prompted historians to reexamine and reframe the classes they teach?  Rather than discussing course “disruptions” in the abstract, this session will examine the subject in actual practice. The roundtable will gather a diverse group of faculty who have used their introductory, upper-division, and capstone classes as “labs” for Tuning-related experiments in teaching and learning. Presentations will be concise and pointed, addressing concrete ways in which instructors: (a) appeal to both majors and non-majors; (b) connect content and competencies; (c) develop appropriate class exercises; (d) connect topics of study to an intentional curriculum; (e) contribute to a record of assessing student learning; and (f) clarify the skills students have developed. The goal is to review a set of innovative teaching ideas in the first half of the time period — and, in the remaining 45 minutes, open the floor to further audience contributions and questions that address creative teaching strategies.


As noted above, these sessions are not content-based but speak to various pedagogical issues in the teaching of history. They are relevant not only at the national level but at the state level. I am not sure exactly where such sessions fit in the present state schedule of conferences. Certainly it would be appropriate to work the social councils on some of these topics. The others probably are more appropriate for a state history conference. What would be the vehicle or forum for even discussing the feasibility of such sessions yet alone implementing them?