AHA Today

What We’re Reading on August 6, 2015: the AP US History Curriculum Debate, Archiving the Internet, and more…

AHA Staff | Aug 6, 2015

AHA staff are eager consumers of great historical content, and we enjoy sharing our finds in our series What We’re Reading. Here are a few staff picks for articles published this week.

Educational Debates

Revisiting History
The 2015 revised framework for the AP US History curriculum has been praised by historians as “a highly flexible, more articulate guide to the kind of subjects that should be taught in a college-level U.S. history course.” The AHA has publicly supported a framework based on critical and historical thinking skills that allows teachers to utilize their professional experience and interpretation when instructing students.

3 Things to Know About Higher Education in Prisons
Debates about educating inmates — and especially using taxpayer money to do so — are often heavy on heated rhetoric and light on facts.” This article by Becky Supiano for the Chronicle of Higher Education supplies some concrete information that should be considered when making decisions about funding.

History in the Digital Age

How Future Historians Might Use Your Tweets
Jason Steinhauer interviewed information scientist Katrin Weller, who studies how social media could one day be used as historical resources.

Samsung and the British Museum Bring Virtual Reality to the Bronze Age
Soon, British Museum visitors will be able to step back in time and walk around in a virtual-reality Bronze Age roundhouse. Read about the challenges in selecting a historical topic and developing a VR experience for it.

Politics as Usual and Unusual Politics

The Long History of Political Idiocy
In this op-ed for the New York Times, Joanne B. Freeman writes of the ongoing US Presidential race, “We are currently enjoying a master class in the art of political stupidity,” going on to explain how political grandstanding was common back in the 1800s. She even explains the origin of the word ‘bunk’…

The Greek Warrior
When the left-wing party Syriza came to power in Greece last January, all eyes were on its dashing new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who stood up to austerity in ensuing negotiations with the country’s creditors before resigning in July. Ian Parker’s profile does justice to the intensity of this summer’s world-historical events in Europe, along with some of Varoufakis’s notable quirks.

The church at Fort James where graves were uncovered.

The church at Fort James where graves were uncovered (1902).

New Discoveries

Unearthing Jamestown’s Leaders, and a Mystery
Four bodies have been discovered in Jamestown, and studies of their remains show that they are important figures in the early history of British settlement in America.

Why Study History?

That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket
Forbes contributing author George Anders writes that “software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.” He describes growing opportunities in the technology sector for those who can deploy creativity and good communication and people skills to help promote new products.

The Future of American History
A decline in history majors may offer an opportunity to explore the ways the study of history intersects with other disciplines in a liberal arts environment, as well as offering the chance to re-articulate what students gain in history courses.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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