This class is designed to be a college level survey of United States History. It will be taught and will consist of college level readings, lecture, and written assignments. Topics covered will include all of US history from the Colonial to the Modern Era. Because of the sheer amount of material to be covered at a greater depth than a regular High School class, the individual students will be responsible for more of their learning and the amount of outside work will be greater than normal. This class will study history through topics rather than traditional chapters.
Therefore, in addition to the assigned textbook, there will be excerpts from a variety of readings including primary (contemporary) sources, and scholarly essays written by prominent historians in their fields of expertise. It is this class’ goal that students will have insight into the periods of history covered and will gain understanding not only of the key figures, economic changes and trends, and politics, but also what it was like to live in these time periods and will be able to communicate those insights in clear and concise verbal and written form.
Lessons and the materials taught revolve around Historical Thinking Skills. It is not enough for students to learn the facts about our history, but they also need to be taught the skills needed for historians to develop their craft. These skills are:
- Constructing and evaluating arguments. Using evidence to make plausible arguments.
- Using documents and other primary source data. Developing skills necessary to analyze points of view and context, and to understand and interpret information.
- Assessing continuity and change over time.
- Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context point of view, and frame of reference.
- Seeing national patterns and processes over time and space while connecting local developments to national ones.
- Comparing within and among societies.
- Exploring claims of universal standards in relation to culturally diverse ideas.
- Exploring the persistent of American History to contemporary developments.
- Historical Causation
- Historical Synthesis