Tuning Project Releases New Version of History Discipline Core

Julia Brookins, November 2013

 The AHA's Tuning project has released a new version of the History Discipline Core: a statement of the central habits of mind, skills, and understanding that students achieve when they major in history. This second release reflects the iterative nature of the Tuning process. The faculty director of the project, Anne F. Hyde (Colorado Coll.), has worked over the summer to incorporate feedback that the AHA has received since the first version was published last year.   According to Hyde, "We're hoping people look at the new, svelter, trimmer discipline core. It still needs field testing. And we'd love to see suggestions for our list of specific things students can do to demonstrate knowledge and skill."

Project staff and participants hope that the new version can again serve as the basis for conversations among history faculty, and between faculty and students, alumni, public historians, parents, administrators, employers, and others about the value of studying history. The document is intended as "a reference point to stimulate conversations. . . .  We assume it will be revised, taken apart, added to, or winnowed down to reflect the distinct character of each institution and its students."

As AHA Vice President, Teaching Division Elaine Carey (St. Johns Univ.) said, the document "gives us a guide to communicate to a broader audience the importance of history and historical thinking to a rapidly changing world and workplace that demands excellent communication skills, critical thinking, information literacy, and engaged citizenship."

We encourage those who are attending the 2014 annual meeting to arrive in time for this year's Workshop on Undergraduate Teaching. This event will begin at 8:45 a.m. (with coffee) and run until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 2. Eighteen history faculty members who have engaged in Tuning will present their experiences and discuss the role of history as a discipline within the undergraduate curriculum as a whole.
We continue to welcome feedback on this document and on the project as a whole. Please e-­mail Julia Brookins, the AHA's coordinator of special projects, to share your thoughts on any aspect of the history Tuning project.  For more details, go to the Tuning Project web page.

—Julia Brookins is the AHA's special projects coordinator.