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ERIC Number: EJ1158558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Althea Stoeckel and Experiments with a History Laboratory in Higher Education
Hengtgen, Kristen
American Educational History Journal, v44 n2 p49-65 2017
In 1966, as the old county courthouse in Delaware County moved to a new building, there was no easy way to relocate the years of old documents and artifacts that had been collecting dust in the disorganized basement and attic since 1880. The decision was made. Thousands of documents, ledgers, and manuscripts from the founding of the county in 1827 to the present would be discarded. However, a local history aficionado and professor at nearby Ball State University made a fuss. She proposed, and got the Dean's approval, to host the documents at Ball State. She even offered herself and several graduate students for hire to do the work of transporting the documents to the University. In the cold of January 1967, Althea Stoeckel and four graduate students scooped up every available document into boxes, transported them to the University, and dumped them in a storage room. The documents would lie in disarray for a short time before Professor Stoeckel propositioned an idea. In Stoeckel's own messy notes written during the documents' excavation in 1968, she mentioned the idea of a class sorting and using the rescued materials. She jotted, "Class- Laboratory? University of Wisconsin had a report of a laboratory course using documents--Why couldn't B.S.U. with our material?" Althea Stoeckel's Experimental Laboratory American History course was born. While the 1960s, and the decades after, saw numerous attempts at shaking up typical history curriculum, Stoeckel gave her classroom a unique twist. This paper tells the story of Stoeckel's experiment in the classroom, and investigates why it in particular was such a (brief) success.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A