Michael L. Goldberg
Examines key events and problems in U.S. history from the Civil War to the recent past. Focuses on the practice of "doing history" by applying historical thinking skills to a wide rage of primary documents.
Winter 2012 The course focuses on specific problems of historical inquiry covering the period 1865 (after the Civil War) to the 1980s. Although the course uses a survey textbook, it emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving and not memorization.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Most days will begin with an introductory lecture to emphasize background from the text and introduce or reinforce historical thinking skills, and present the historical problem to be discussed. Students will then work in small groups to advance their understanding of the problem, and then report out to the class. The lesson will conclude by drawing larger conclusions and making connections to contemporary society. Because of the emphasis on group work, students are expected to attend most classes and come prepared for discussion.
Class assignments and grading
To help make group work productive, students complete short preparation handouts for each class, which are graded collectively. The course also has take-home exams and an oral history report on someone who was a young person in the 1960s. An alternative assignment on one exam for educators in training is available.
Rubrics and sample essays will be available. Final grading will recognize improvement and final outcomes.