I am seeking co-presenters for a roundtable tentatively titled, “The Future of the U.S. History Survey Course – Alternatives and Challenges to Dropping the Two Semester U.S. History Sequence” at the OAH in Atlanta, April 10-13, 2014. I would like to have 4 or 5 different presenters who have successfully (or unsuccessfully) replaced their two semester U.S. History Surveys with an alternative U.S. Survey class. Alternatives could include moving to a 3 semester sequence, a combined one semester course, thematic courses, or something entirely different.
I plan on discussing my department’s decision to begin offering in the fall of 2013 a ‘Themes in U.S. History’ course that combines the two semester sequence by focusing on major themes in American History including the U.S. as a constitutional democracy, the U.S. as an industrial power, the U.S. as a diverse nation, and the U.S. as a world power, rather than presenting this material chronologically. We made this move as a result of the increasing difficulty in addressing post-1980s material in the second half of our survey courses, a proposed general education reform that made it increasingly likely that most students on our campus will only take one history class while in college, and a desire to get our history majors into upper level courses more quickly. However, this move has not occurred without overcoming several challenges both within and outside the department.
A roundtable that brings together presenters from several institutions that have also attempted to re-envision ways to teach U.S. History survey courses could hopefully start a discussion on both the place of the U.S. History survey in the college curriculum, current challenges with the two semester U.S. survey sequence, and possible alternatives or reforms to the way U.S. surveys are typically taught.
If you are interested in participating on such a roundtable, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org ) before January 10, 2013, with a brief description of the alternative U.S. Survey class (or proposed class) your department offers and the reasons, challenges, opportunities, failures, or successes that the switch (or proposed switch) caused.
Thanks for your consideration,
Dr. Christy J. Snider, Chair
Department of History
5010 Mt. Berry Station
Mt. Berry, GA
706-368-5652 Email: email@example.com
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