What Should Undergraduate History Majors Be Able To Do?

The American Historical Association’s Tuning Project has made a renewed effort to “describe the skill, knowledge, and habits of mind that students develop in history courses and degree courses.”  You can read the full report here.

All history students should be able to:

1.  Engage in historical inquiry, research, and analysis. 

2.  Practice historical empathy. 

3.  Understand the complex nature of the historical record

4.  Generate significant, open-ended questions about the past and devise research strategies to answer them

5. Craft historical narrative and argument

6. Practice historical thinking as central to engaged citizenship

Read the entire report in order to see how the members of the Tuning Project have elaborated further on these six points.  The report also offers “sample tasks for demonstrating competencies.”

This is a very useful document for anyone who teaches history and/or  is responsible for a history curriculum.  I am sure I will refer to this over and over again as I teach, prepare my courses, and discuss curriculum with the faculty in my department.

2 thoughts on “What Should Undergraduate History Majors Be Able To Do?

  1. Thanks for the pointer to this, John. I had heard of the AHA's Tuning Project before (about a year ago), but hadn't learned sufficiently what it was all about. And of course the points you highlight above go toward my personal project about Cs and history thinking.


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