Assigning reading is easy, getting students to actually read the assigned work – well, that’s a bit of a bugger. Some of my colleagues create multiple-choice quizzes to ensure students glanced at the readings. But if I had assigned eight primary documents, I now have the unenviable task of crafting exam style queries for all of them: besides, a multiple-choice quiz on readings seems somehow punitive. I want students to think, not practice rote memorization.

A cure may be found in (more…)


I began a student-driven project a couple of semesters ago to foster more authenticity in the teaching of History. Now, with a full year of this Civil War podcasting project under my belt, I thought I’d reflect and share upon some of the mid-year improvements that I made, and some of the changes crafted for the upcoming fall term. I’m a believer that the young college freshman learns best by doing.  (more…)

There it is, the Atlantic Ocean, that wet sopping pond that bares my historical acumen (Atlantic Studies). And it’s warm!!! So of course total immersion – as in me in the sea.

Which is what good historians do…total and complete immersion in their research. Which is also the way I’d like to teach it, to have students try their hand at immersion, to think like, write like, and see the world via the mind of a historian. (more…)