'This book, informed by exceptionally wide inquiry into current history teaching practices in the English-speaking world, is a real achievement. The authors convey current context and challenges with great insight, and they move through possibilities in sequencing, content, skills and assessment, without strident comment, extending our knowledge of options and pitfalls in the process' - Peter N. Stearns, Provost, George Mason University 'Comprehensive, persuasive, and at all times accessible in style and argument, this text both encourages and empowers university historians to review and enhance their teaching practices. All key facets of programme development are explored with reference to an extensive and well-chosen range of international examples. The chapter on the historian's skills and qualities of mind is one of several that I will be referring to frequently' - Jeanine Graham, Senior Lecturer, History, University of Waikato'... the varied findings make fascinating reading ... this book should be required reading for everyone involved in teaching history: there is plenty here for us all to learn from' - ESCalate 'In providing such a clear, informative and thoughtful exploration of the current state of history in higher education, and in helping to raise the quality of critical debate about its future, this book contributes greatly to the growing scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline. It should also become a vital resource for all historians who wish to honour the old dictum that, in teaching as in research, the one duty we owe history is to rewrite it' - Professor Paul Hyland, Director of History in the Subject Centre for History, Classics and ArchaeologyOver the last 10 years or so, history as an academic discipline has become steeped in controversy and introspection. Additional areas of interest have opened up, fresh perspectives and approaches have been offered, and new teaching and learning strategies have been advocated. There has been an increasing emphasis on producing well-qualified graduates equipped with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to cope with the changing demands of the world of work.This book suggests how these issues may be managed. The authors identify and discuss the underlying principles, and consider ways in which they can be applied at module and programme levels.The Teaching & Learning in the Humanities series, edited by Ellie Chambers and Jan Parker, is for beginning and experienced lecturers. It deals with all aspects of teaching individual arts and humanities subjects in higher education. Experienced teachers offer authoritative suggestions on how to become critically reflective about discipline-specific practices.
Chapter 1: The State of the Discipline
The State of the Discipline
In his path-breaking discourse on the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Kuhn suggests that resort by practising scientists to philosophical analysis and reflective contemplation is characteristic of a period of acknowledged crisis in their discipline. He argues that long periods of paradigmatic stability are marked by quiescence, shared assumptions and fairly routine endeavours along well-established lines. The onset of revolution, however, brings rival versions of how a discipline should be practised, resulting in intense debate, or even a complete breakdown of communication. In this context, resorting to introspection about the underlying nature of the discipline becomes an attempt to find common ground or, failing that, to reconfigure the very nature of the paradigm (Kuhn, 1962). Though ...