1995 Annual Report of the Vice President of the AHA Teaching Division
Editor's Note: In order to assure the widest possible distribution of the reports of AHA division vice presidents, the Association has decided to publish the reports in Perspectives. The report of the vice president of the Research Division begins on page 33 of this issue. The report of the vice president of the Professional Division will appear in a forthcoming issue of the newsletter.
Amid a variety of concerns, including attention to the reception of the National standards for U.S. and World History, the principal activities of the Teaching Division in 1995 fell under the following headings.
With three prizes now being awarded for the teaching of history, a separate teaching prize committee was established to handle awards from 1996 onward. In addition, prizewinners were determined for the 1995 William Gilbert Award for the Best Article on Teaching History and the Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award.
Sessions and Conferences
The division reviewed a healthy variety of teaching sessions for the 1996 AHA annual meeting, while working to stimulate several sessions for 1997. Participation in several regional teaching conferences was also approved. Links with other groups promoting the teaching of history are crucial in these teaching sessions and conferences, and they seem to be in good shape.
The division reviewed a variety of publication efforts already under way or of great potential interest, some with related conference activity. These included work on the history survey that could join historians from two-year and four-year colleges and attention to the juncture between research on history learning and actual teaching practice. Of great interest also are publications or updates on the training of history teachers and on reasons for the study of history. Several publication efforts will be addressed through electronic publication, as the Association expands its use of its Web page. The division also recommended several items for publication in Perspectives. Finally, the division had a productive meeting with Michael Grossberg, the new editor of the American Historical Review, about teaching issues and the AHR.
The division is increasingly interested in teaching activities beyond standard classroom presentations. At a time of massive innovation in teaching technology, and with the opportunity to devote new attention to research on student learning of history, imaginative extensions in these areas are vital. With increasing public debate over the uses of history, contacts with a wider history public are both timely and essential. These considerations motivate some of the division's newer initiatives. With impetus from the division, the Association is producing two lectures for the History Channel and will pursue additional possibilities. Some review has also been offered to the new public television project, Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? The division is also participating in discussions about other AHA projects, including electronic materials for the teaching of world history.
At the request of the AHA Council, the division is organizing some inquiry into the various procedures and organizations involved in textbook adoption review. The division has also gathered some materials on the increasingly pressing issue of evaluating history teaching and teachers in college classrooms, and will highlight some approaches in Perspectives articles.
My thanks to Teaching Division members David Trask (Guilford Technical Community Coll.), Doris Meadows (Wilson Magnet High School), and Evelyn Hu-DeHart (Univ. of Colorado). Special thanks to James J. Lorence (Univ. of Wisconsin at Marathon County), who is rotating off the division, for his hard work and good humor. I also want to acknowledge my great debt to the AHA headquarters staff and especially to Sandria B. Freitag, Noralee Frankel, and Rosslyn R. Rosser.
Peter Stearns (Carnegie Mellon Univ.) is the vice president, Teaching Division.
Tags: From the Teaching Division
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.
The American Historical Association welcomes comments in the discussion area below, at AHA Communities, and in letters to the editor. Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.
Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.