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ERIC Number: EJ765251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Constructing the Syllabus: Devising a Framework for Helping Students Learn to Think like Historians
Estes, Todd
History Teacher, v40 n2 p183-201 Feb 2007
In this article, the author describes a syllabus which he designed in his United States history survey courses to help his students learn to think like historians. It contains important information about the way historians work and think, along with descriptions of the reading materials the student will use to further their practice of history. Most importantly, the syllabus in his course is an extension of both the books students read and the lectures and discussions, and provides a connection between them all. The syllabus also functions as an invitation to learning, one that places the rationale for the work they do in front of students from the outset of the semester and keeps it there for reminders. By discussing the larger ways they will be working in the class it can help students move from whatever level they are on as students of history--and the variety of levels of preparation and ability in the survey courses can be dramatic--to the level he wants them to attain. By using the syllabus to invite students into the world of history and the practices of historians, he can, as one historian puts it, "draw the novice learner into the world of the expert." Finally, by describing the kind of work historians do and the kind of thinking students will have to do to participate in that particular world of learning, the syllabus reveals most fundamentally the anatomy of the history course itself. (Contains 22 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States