Browsed by
Category: Uncategorized

The Index Card

The Index Card

Last Thursday, the students in my Museums, Monuments, and Memory course unveiled their exhibit to the public. The theme of the exhibit was 1968 (with a U.S. focus) and included panels on civil rights, the United Farmworkers, gay and trans rights, American Indian rights, feminism, college protests, the Democratic convention in Chicago, the presidential election, the Cold War at large and Vietnam in particular, culture, music, and the environment. The students had built the exhibit from the ground up, crafting…

Read More Read More

Dis/ability

Dis/ability

On April 19, Philip Gaines posted a letter from a concerned student to the column ‘Social Qs’ at the NYTimes: I am a student at a small liberal arts college. My friend takes a required psychology class with me. But she has acute autism, so when we take exams, she goes into another room, by herself, to take them. She recently told me that when she takes these tests, she uses her notes to do better. This hardly seems fair to…

Read More Read More

Experience

Experience

It’s ten years this year since I first launched Museums, Monuments, and Memory, a course in which fifteen upper-level students collaboratively design, construct, populate, and staff an exhibition on a topic I reveal to them on the first day of class. It’s one of my favorite classes to teach, experiential to its core, and collaborative in a way that few history classes get to be. The anniversary of that first exhibition has me reflective, as does recently seeing someone on…

Read More Read More

What I’ve Learned about Learning Goals

What I’ve Learned about Learning Goals

I read a wonderful interview with Natalie Mendoza this morning, in which she offered a wonderful articulation of alignment – making sure that your course goals, assessments, and instruction are all synced with one another: “Let me explain what alignment is. Alignment includes three steps. The first step would be identifying learning objectives. What is it that you want students to learn? We talked about skills, we talked about concepts, or content – any of those things could be learning…

Read More Read More

Fun With Scissors Day

Fun With Scissors Day

Today was “Fun with Scissors!” day in my methods class, otherwise known as our end-of-term paper workshop. I’m sure I am not the first or only person who believes in cutting up papers to emphasize organization, strong thesis statements, and good topic sentences, but in case you’ve never heard of the tactic, here’s how it goes: Everyone brings in a complete first version of their paper to class, printed single sided. They scribble out the in-text footnote numbers, and then…

Read More Read More

Teaching Our Grad Students How to Teach

Teaching Our Grad Students How to Teach

The other day, Jesse Stommel tweeted a thread about how we train our graduate students to teach. It got me thinking about my own experience, and how much work graduate programs need to put in to make sure we do better. I was 22 years old when I first began teaching. I was an English, first-generation, immigrant graduate student, brand new to the American system of education, and just six weeks past my own graduation with a BA in American…

Read More Read More

Bias and Perspective

Bias and Perspective

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to be part of a conversation on Natalie Mendoza’s twitter feed about teaching students about bias and perspective. Here was Natalie’s articulation of the teaching challenge ahead of her:   One of the many suggestions Natalie received was from Laura Westhoff: I saw this tweet right before a class session in which my own students were thinking about bias and perspective. Their homework assignment was: (I’ve written about the kind of reflections my students…

Read More Read More

Hunger is an Educational Issue

Hunger is an Educational Issue

Christian Schneider’s recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel / USA Today column takes issue with the idea that college and universities should care whether their students go hungry. Read that again. He takes issue with the idea that colleges and universities should care whether their students go hungry. Schneider recalls that as “a broke college student in the mid-1990s, I learned every trick in the book to keep myself fed.” These tricks included skipping meals entirely, working in restaurants where he was fed…

Read More Read More

Reverse Engineering: Teaching Bibliographies and Footnotes

Reverse Engineering: Teaching Bibliographies and Footnotes

The final assignment in the methods course I teach almost every year is a historiographical paper on a subject of the student’s choice. Earlier in the term, as a first step toward that final paper, students have to create a bibliography of primary and secondary sources from which we’ll choose, together, the books and articles that they’ll weave into that historiography. For a long time, my students struggled with this task, and I struggled to figure out how to help…

Read More Read More

Wearing a New Hat

Wearing a New Hat

I’m taking an online language course with an institution that’s not my own this semester, and it’s teaching me an enormous amount.  The learning isn’t yet about the language – that will come in time – but about what it’s like to “do college,” especially as a new student. I was entirely out of my element when it came to seeking admission.  First, I couldn’t find the portal for non-degree-seeking students (hint: scroll all the way down the webpage, Cate),…

Read More Read More

css.php