Student Learning Outcomes
A. Historical Skills
- A History graduates should know how to read a primary source historically and critically. More particularly, they should be able to ask basic questions of the source; assess how their own background shapes their interpretation; and draw conclusions about the reliability and usefulness of the source.
- Graduates should be able to read books and articles by historians with confidence and competence. More specifically, they should be able to classify a secondary source; summarize it; identify its main thesis or argument; engage in informed criticism; and make a final assessment of its value. These skills are important not only for written assignments, but also for class discussions.
2. Research: To be effective historical researchers, graduates must be able to select and appropriate research topic; locate relevant sources; and determine the character of the existing historiography on their topic.
3. Writing: To write a good history paper, graduates must be able to develop an argument; make use of different forms of historical writing; write in an appropriate manner; and provide the requisite scholarly apparatus.4. Critical skills: Students will exhibit a balance of healthy skepticism and interpretive confidence in their historical work
B. Historical Content
1. Chronology: Students will develop the ability to place important people, patterns and events in their proper chronological contexts. Understanding distinctions between ancient, medieval, early modern and modern periods while critically assessing such divisions of historical time are part of this skill package. The ability to locate such developments as agricultural and industrial revolutions, print media, empires and “ages” of imperialism, Reformation, Enlightenment, charismatic leaders, and the emergence of modern nation states are vital to a student’s grasp of historical chronology.
2. Geography: Through the study of maps and other descriptions of physical space, students will acquire an understanding of the physical world, its principal divisions (continents, territories, and other demarcations of land masses), and their unique characteristics as these have evolved over time. Students also will develop a sense of how geography has influenced the unique characteristics of human societies.3. Genres: Students will understand the different types or approaches to history. This includes both content oriented and theoretical distinctions. Familiarity with important works in political, social, religious and economic history, as examples, acquaints students with wide ranging emphases in history, recognizing the contribution that each approach makes to the field. Exposure to imperialist, “whig,” feminist, post-colonial, Marxist, and/or postmodern approaches to historical writing is vital to understanding the different lenses through which historians examine the past.
C. Christian Orientation
1. Faith and History: Students will understand the value of historical study for Christians. In particular, they will consider the differences their Christian faith makes for their study of the past.
2. Virtues: Within and beyond the classroom, students will cultivate virtues essential to the study of history, including honesty, humility, and empathy.
3. Christian Vocation: Students will develop a sense of Christian vocation, drawing connections between their historical study and their responsibilities in the world.
4. Life-Long Learning: Students will develop into lovers of learning for the rest of their lives, certainly for their own sake, but also for the benefit of those around them, and ultimately, for the kingdom of God.