IV Congreso Internacional
Historia a Debate
Santiago de Compostela, 15-19 de diciembre de 2010
Sección I. 3. Nuevo paradigma educativo
Jennifer A. Stollman, Michael T. Martin (University of Michigan, USA)
History Matters Teaching Relevant History to a new Generation of Service-Oriented Students
Over the past decade two important phenomena have taken place within undergraduate history departments and classrooms. First, the field of the scholarship of teaching and learning has exploded onto college campuses. Works by individuals like Howard Gardner demand that we acknowledge and investigate the ways in which undergraduate students process and experience learning and knowledge. He has developed the theory that there are seven different types of intelligence linguistic, logical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, inter-personal, and intrapersonal. Other scholars in this field challenge educators to alter our pedagogies and methodologies to suit multiple intelligences present in our classes. The other factor impacting our classrooms is the fact that differently from the post 1950-1990s era, most undergraduates are less interested in acquiring degrees to substantially improve their economic positions but instead are more interested in serving their local and global communities. The discipline is rapidly moving away from the idea that history should promote static history, nationalism and individual empowerment and moving towards collective empowerment and addressing and solving global issues. Students are focused on becoming agents of change and therefore demand that college course material is delivered in such a way that the history they study is made relevant to their own professional and global service objectives. This monumental shift in the ways in which students are now processing historical material coupled with how they will utilize this knowledge differently than past generations is an emerging topic in the discipline and requires that historians develop innovative ways to meet these new changes. This paper understands that these two phenomena are mutually constitutive. We will first define these new developments and address how these two factors have immeasurably altered the undergraduate classroom. Next, we will outline important new pedagogies and methodologies that may be effectively utilized to deliver history course material to address students’ multiple learning experiences, strengths, and challenges. Next, we will draw links between the recognition and acceptance of different intelligences and how they have created new and different history student archetypes. These new archetypes lead students towards goals of service and global citizenship. Recognizing this, next we will describe other strategies to successfully contextualize course material so that there is continued meaning and relevance between the past and present. Using the sub-disciplines of American, Ancient, and Medieval history, this paper will explore how students with their unique intelligences may apply the developed critical thinking skills and the historical material gleaned from these courses to be effective global citizens.