The primary goal of the history learning outcomes is to provide students with an ability to understand the past on its own terms and how it has shaped and continues to shape the present while exploring their own beliefs and values. Students are introduced to history as an ongoing debate, as they discover how historical controversies often reflect competing constituencies’ attempts to define the past or close off rival or opposing interpretations. Students also explore basic research methodologies, typically through an extended research project combining primary and secondary sources. As part of this process, students are introduced to the contingent nature of historical knowledge and learn how to read both primary and secondary sources critically and contextually.
Students demonstrate competency in these areas through active participation in class discussion, oral presentations, examinations, and a variety of written assignments that respond to course reading, incorporate primary and secondary sources, and explore historiographical themes and concepts.