The Death of the Coverage Model?

Longtime readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home know that we are enamored with Lendol Calder’s “uncoverage” model for teaching the United States history survey course.  We have blogged about it here and here and here and here. (By the way, check out Lendol’s article, “For Teachers to Live, Professors Must Die: A Sermon on the Mount” in our Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation).

Though I have not received it yet, the new issue of The Journal of American History has an article in the “Textbooks and Teaching” section by Joel M. Sipress and David J. Voelker entited ” The End of the History Survey Course: The Rise and Fall of the Coverage Model.”  I am eager to read it.

Jonathan Rees has read it and he blogs about the coverage model over at More or Less Bunk.   Drawing from some thoughts from Pauline Maier in another article on teaching U.S. history, Rees offers three reasons why the “coverage model” must die.  They are:

1.  The coverage model promotes teaching from the textbook.
2.  The coverage model promoted dull, institutional history
3.  The coverage model forces you to use your textbook in a crunch.

Stay tuned for more on this topic in the near future.

2 thoughts on “The Death of the Coverage Model?

  1. Geez John,

    It's the week before Spring Break, and you give me literally tons of reading to do! And I'm going to read all of it, as I never quite realized how unsatisfied I was with my survey class until I realized there was a name for the problem. [Is this comment starting to sound like a drug commercial?]

    The reason I have to read it is that I need some good suggestions about what my new course will look like. There's a mention of laboratory courses in that article you haven't read yet, and I'd like to see part of the class become lab-like. Still, there are facts that I actually do want to cover. I guess my next step is to figure out how much of the old coverage to let go of so that I can replace it with something more creative for them and for me.


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