Publication Date

October 1, 1996

Editor's Note: David Trask’s term as contributing editor for teaching began with the September 1996 issue of Perspectives. Articles solicited by Robert Blackey, the former editor of the Teaching Innovations column, will continue to be published throughout the 1996-97 academic year, but all new submissions should be sent to Trask. Trask's articles will begin to appear in the newsletter during the 1997-98 academic year, at which point the teaching column will be renamed Teaching.

The editorial board of Perspectives is pleased to announce that David Stephens Trask of Guilford Technical Community College, in Jamestown, North Carolina, has agreed to serve as the newsletter’s contributing editor for teaching. Since the early 1980s, the Teaching Innovations column has treated historians to a wide variety of valuable ways to conceptualize and convey historical issues to students. This effort was the work of Robert Blackey of California State University at San Bernardino, who identified topics and sought out and prodded historians to share their approaches as classroom instructors. By changing the name of the column from “Teaching Innovations” to “Teaching,” the Perspectives editorial board is underscoring its desire to broaden the coverage of issues related to teaching. Although innovative teaching approaches will remain an important part of the column, there will be more discussion of other issues having to do with to the classroom. These include, for example, the experience of historians with the development of statewide standards for K-12 instruction, reports on efforts to improve the teaching experience of graduate students, more discussion of collaborative teaching arrangements among historians at different institutions, and evaluation of tele-courses and “distance learning.” In general, the column will seek essays that will illuminate the forces and trends affecting classroom instruction in addition to contributions that show how historians present historical knowledge to students at all levels.

David Trask teaches at Guilford Technical Community College, in Jamestown, North Carolina. After receiving his undergraduate degree in history at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1966, Trask earned his M.A. and PhD. degrees in American history at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he studied the American West and immigration, under Frederick C. Luebke. He has published articles on the populist movement of the 1890s and has reviewed books for a variety of journals. More recently, he has focused specifically on issues related to teaching. He has made presentations and published on the nature of the introductory course in history, on teaching students to think historically, and on the effect of electronic media on student perceptions 9£ history. He currently serves as a mentor for a project on teaching cultural pluralism for the American Association of Community Colleges; the project is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) "national conversation" program. He has participated in four NEH summer institutes and was the recipient of an NEH summer study grant in 1992. Trask is a member of the AHA Council and Teaching Division.

Trask welcomes essays of 7 to 10 double-spaced, typed pages on issues related to teaching. He also welcomes suggestions about topics or names of individuals whose teaching experiences and insights could benefit others. Trask can be reached at the Department of History, Guilford Technical Community College, Box 309, Jamestown, NC 27282. (910) 334-4822, ext. 2498. E-mail:

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