My teaching goals include knowledge of specific subject matter; application of historical methods; improved analysis, evaluation and communication skills; and the ability to connect historical knowledge to current issues and communities beyond the classroom.
My courses emphasize primary source analysis using a range of documents such as autobiography, fiction, and visual images.
Writing about and discussing primary sources encourages students to develop a historical perspective, to practice the historical craft, and to read past and present texts with a critical eye.
I try to create projects that will stimulate students’ interest.
Past students have told me that they have found two projects particularly rewarding.
First, students in upper division courses such as American Immigration History and Women in the U.S. conduct their own oral history interviews with family and/or community members.
Next they use these primary sources to write research papers connecting what they have learned to issues raised in the course.
Second, U.S. History students participate in debates on topics ranging from women’s suffrage to President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb in 1945.
As they prepare and deliver their arguments, students study primary sources, analyze argument structure, adopt the perspective of someone in a different time and place, and hone their communication skills.
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