ERIC Number: ED180855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov-23
Reference Count: 0
American History in Schools and Colleges: Problems and Prospects.
Holbo, Paul S.
The author stresses the need for college history instructors to make an effort to help students learn how to take good lecture notes, understand reading assignments, and obtain practice in writing. He also encourages more strict admission requirements in writing skills and college-wide adoption of more rigorous coursework. Students in American colleges and universities display an alarming lack of reading and writing skills. The problem is evident not only in English classes but in all fields of study, including history. Efforts to introduce students to key questions and concepts of history, and to interest them in important books and ideas, are hampered if they cannot understand what is being presented and express their reactions to those ideas. Possible causes of the problem include the lack of authority and purpose of public schools and institutions of higher education. Reduction of admission standards, proliferation of so-called socially relevant elective courses, replacement of requirements by guidelines, and alternative grading methods have allowed students to progress through school without being forced to learn subject matter and express themselves clearly. Another aspect of the problem may relate to national apathy and mistrust of government. Also, students who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s have little interest in the history of preceding decades because society and technology have changed so drastically from one generation to the next. (AV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Change Strategies, College Instruction, College Preparation, Communication Skills, Curriculum Problems, Educational Problems, Educational Trends, Grading, Graduation Requirements, Higher Education, History Instruction, Humanities Instruction, Language Skills, Relevance (Education), Speeches, Student Motivation, United States History, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Portland, OR, November 21, 1979); Essays on page 4 may not reproduce clearly in paper copy from EDRS