So, what is the Tuning project? The American Historical Association has been awarded a three year grant to “develop common language that communicates to a broad audience the significance and value of a history degree.” To meet this goal, AHA has begun “a nationwide, faculty-led project 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. This AHA project brings together accomplished history faculty from more than sixty institutions across the country. Tuning is a collaborative process which convenes experts in a discipline to spell out the distinctive skills, methods, and substantive range of that field. Participants then work to harmonize or ‘tune’ the core goals of their discipline and the curricula that support those goals on each participating campus.”
None of this is an attempt to generate a list of specific content (events, people, ideas, groups) to me mastered/memorized by students. Also, it moves the benefits of history education beyond the inchoate musings of venerable historian Gordon Wood who claims that a history education provides “wisdom.” Hmmm…
essential undertaking especially in the wake of the Common Core State Standards and 21st century teaching and learning initiatives. Maintaining the bridge between secondary and higher education will serve both schools and challenges James Loewen ‘s infamous claim about the disconnect between high school and college history in Lies My Teacher Told Me. Moreover, I am curious how the numerous “historical thinking” initiatives will be incorporated withing Tuning. I consider the efforts at the national history education clearing house and the history thinking project to be especially impressive.
- What are the benefits of teaching history?
- How does history education concepts of culture and globalization?
- To what extent should we teach history theory/thinking skills as part of the curriculum?
- Do we utilize multiple narratives beyond a national one when teaching history?
Professor France Titchener of the State University in Utah emphasizes the marketable skills students can learn through their study of Greek History. Their grades are based on only 25% of their historical knowledge. In age where information can be accessed on demand, this makes incredible sense. I encourage you to contact Dr. Titchener and the other professors engaged with the AHA to network, collaborate, and impact the goals of Tuning on history (especially secondary) education. As the Allman’s Brothers sing:
Crossroads, will you ever let him go?
Will you hide the dead man’s ghost,
Or will he lie, beneath the clay,
Or will his spirit roll away?