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Teaching and Learning History
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Teaching and Learning History



© 2005 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'This book, informed by exceptionally wide inquiry into current history teaching practices in the English-speaking world, is a real achievement. The authors convey current context and challenges with great insight, and they move through possibilities in sequencing, content, skills and assessment, without strident comment, extending our knowledge of options and pitfalls in the process' - Peter N. Stearns, Provost, George Mason University

'Comprehensive, persuasive, and at all times accessible in style and argument, this text both encourages and empowers university historians to review and enhance their teaching practices. All key facets of programme development are explored with reference to an extensive and well-chosen range of international examples. The chapter on the historian's skills and qualities of mind is one of several that I will be referring to frequently' - Jeanine Graham, Senior Lecturer, History, University of Waikato

'... the varied findings make fascinating reading ... this book should be required reading for everyone involved in teaching history: there is plenty here for us all to learn from' - ESCalate

'In providing such a clear, informative and thoughtful exploration of the current state of history in higher education, and in helping to raise the quality of critical debate about its future, this book contributes greatly to the growing scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline. It should also become a vital resource for all historians who wish to honour the old dictum that, in teaching as in research, the one duty we owe history is to rewrite it' - Professor Paul Hyland, Director of History in the Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology

'[E]xtremely useful... provides a thought-provoking and useful discussion concerning the task of actually teaching history at university level... This timely book needs to be read widely, and the many issues it raises should command our closest attention' - Higher Education Review

Over the last 10 years or so, history as an academic discipline has become steeped in controversy and introspection. Additional areas of interest have opened up, fresh perspectives and approaches have been offered, and new teaching and learning strategies have been advocated. There has been an increasing emphasis on producing well-qualified graduates equipped with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to cope with the changing demands of the world of work.

This book suggests how these issues may be managed. The authors identify and discuss the underlying principles, and consider ways in which they can be applied at module and programme levels.

The Teaching & Learning in the Humanities series, edited by Ellie Chambers and Jan Parker, is for beginning and experienced lecturers. It deals with all aspects of teaching individual arts and humanities subjects in higher education. Experienced teachers offer authoritative suggestions on how to become critically reflective about discipline-specific practices.

 
The State of the Discipline
 
Progression and Differentiation
 
Content Matters
 
The Historian's Skills and Qualities of Mind
 
Learning and Teaching
 
Assessment Issues

'This book, informed by exceptionally wide inquiry into current history teaching practices in the English-speaking world, is a real achievement. The authors convey current context and challenges with great insight, and they move through possibilities in sequencing, content, skills and assessment, without strident comment, extending our knowledge of options and pitfalls in the process' - Peter N. Stearns, Provost, George Mason University

'Comprehensive, persuasive, and at all times accessible in style and argument, this text both encourages and empowers university historians to review and enhance their teaching practices. All key facets of programme development are explored with reference to an extensive and well-chosen range of international examples. The chapter on the historian's skills and qualities of mind is one of several that I will be referring to frequently' - Jeanine Graham, Senior Lecturer, History, University of Waikato

'In providing such a clear, informative and thoughtful exploration of the current state of history in higher education, and in helping to raise the quality of critical debate about its future, this book contributes greatly to the growing scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline. It should also become a vital resource for all historians who wish to honour the old dictum that, in teaching as in research, the one duty we owe history is to rewrite it' - Professor Paul Hyland, Director of History in the Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology

'... presents a valuable overview of both the recent and current state of undergraduate history teaching and learning as well as a nuanced discussion of specific aspects of the ways in which concepts such as benchmarking, transferable skills, progression, differentiation and assessment criteria are continuing to impact on the discipline ... the varied findings make fascinating reading ... this book should be required reading for everyone involved in teaching history: there is plenty here for us all to learn from' - ESCalate

'[E]xtremely useful... provides a thought-provoking and useful discussion concerning the task of actually teaching history at university level... This timely book needs to be read widely, and the many issues it raises should command our closest attention' - Higher Education Review


Generally, this is a very thoughtfully composed book that certainly touches on a number of pertinent issues in the field that will pique the interest of students and teachers of history alike. One of the books strengths, in particular, is in locating disciplinary insecurities and concerns within the broader context of Higher Education. This is certainly a debate that history students should be conscience of, and, actively engaged in. To the authors further credit, the use of a wide variety of comparative examples from institutions around the world is novel, and certainly, warmly welcomed. The use of international examples will, I hope, encourage students and teachers to contextualise their work, research, and its associated problems in new ways. There is definitely a lot of potential here for encouraging students and teachers to employ comparative and contextual approaches within their specific areas of studies.
I also felt that the attention to new novel methods and means of delivery, assessment, and engagement was also informative and timely given the demands on academic practitioners to push their creative and entrepreneurial teaching boundaries.

My reservations about the book are only very minor. In some places, for instances, the flow of the book is not as cohesive as it could be. There are also a number of obscure headings that are not as well articulated. In a few instances further concrete examples would have helped augment the practically-orientated suggestions and ideas.

This said, this is still a very worthwhile book, particularly for those students embarking on their historical studies or teachers looking to reinvigorate their classroom practices in more relevant, meaningful, and inspiring ways. Used alongside other 'methods' texts, this would be a welcome addition to the undergraduate history syllabus.

Dr Geoffery Kohe
Institute , Worcester University
June 22, 2011

The book raises essential questions about the history of the subject of history. Methods are reflected in the light of their use in the past and general tendencies are highlighted. This book supplements the broad how-to-do literature for teachers of history at any level; it provides a specifically historic perspective on "teachind & learning history" by turning the subject's criticial methods on its own history.

Dr Christian Kuhn
Institut fuer Geschichte, Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg
November 8, 2009

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