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Syllabus History 500 Fall 2012 (1)

Syllabus History 500 Fall 2012 (1)

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 1History 500 Robert JohnstonUH950 UH 930Fall 2012 (o) 312-413-9164Tu, 5:00-7:50 p.m. (c) 773-610-1442Office Hours: Tu, 2:00-4:00 johnsto1@uic.edu and gladly by appt.Teaching Assistant: Molly Myers, mollyamyers@gmail.com  Graduate Program Assistant: Scott Fenwick, rsfenwick2@gmail.com
COLLOQUIUM ON THE TEACHING OF HISTORY
History of Magic was the dullest subject on theirschedule. Professor Binns, who taught it, was their onlyghost teacher, and the most exciting thing that everhappened in his classes was his entering the room through theblackboard. Ancient and shriveled, many people said he
hadn’t noticed he was dead. He had simply got up t
o teachone day and left his body behind in an armchair in front ofthe staff room fire; his routine had not varied in the slightestsince.Today was as boring as ever. Professor Binns opened hisnotes and began to read in a flat drone like an old vacuumcleaner until nearly everyone in class was in a deep stupor,occasionally coming to long enough to copy down a nameor date, then falling asleep again.
--J. K. Rowling,
 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(1998), 148
You’re not in this class to bec
ome Professor Binns. Instead, you want to excite yourstudents, to stir their intellectual imaginations, to help them love history the way anygood citizen should!But how? Certainly, in part through learning the nuts and bolts of the trade. We willindeed explore some basic mechanics in this course: drawing up a lesson plan, finding aperfect primary source, ditching your textbook when appropriate.Yet focusing on nuts and bolts alone is, well, nutty. To become the best teacher that youcan be--as well as to come to grips with why you might want to spend the rest of your lifedoing something (nutty) like teaching history--sustained reflection on the highestphilosophical and intellectual principles is necessary. This course seeks to provide theopportunity to think deeply about history while you initiate yourself into the mysteries of the craft.
 
 2We will focus on U.S. history, but I welcome you bringing in pedagogical issues fromother areas of history.
Assessment:
One of the basic principles of a graduate class, it seems to me, is thatintellectual work should be done for the sake of the intellect
 — 
and not for the sake of apuny notation on paper. I will provide you with copious commentary on your work, but Iwill not evaluate the work you do over the course of the semester with formal grades. Iwill, however, notify you if you might be
in danger of getting below a “B”
for the courseas a whole. Of course, if you are at any time concerned about how I am responding to orassessing your work, please feel free to discuss this with me.
Plagiarism Statement
: Plagiarism is a serious violation of university codes on academic
integrity. Plagiarizing material from the web, printed sources, other students’ work, or 
any other source constitutes grounds for failure in this course. Incidents of plagiarismmay also be brought before the university judiciary board resulting in further disciplinaryaction. Students uncertain of the definition of plagiarism must ask the instructor prior tosubmitting their work. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.
Students with disabilities
who require accommodations for access and participation inthis course must be registered with the Office of Disability Services. Please call 312/413-2103 (voice) or 312/413-0123 (TTY).
REQUIRED TEXTS
Books available for purchase at UIC Bookstore and on reserve at Daley Library:Christopher Lasch,
Plain Style: A Guide to Written English
, ed. Stewart Weaver (2002)Bruce A. Lesh,
“Why Won’t You Just Tell Us The Answer?”:
Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12
(2011)
 
James W. Loewen,
 
 Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American HistoryTextbook Got Wrong
(revised 2007/2008 edition)
 
James W. Loewen,
Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited about Doing History
(2009)James A. Percoco,
 A Passion for the Past: Creative Teaching of U.S. History
(1998)Diane Ravitch,
The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn
(2003)Diane Ravitch,
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testingand Choice Are Undermining Education
(2010)Sam Wineburg,
 Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past 
(2001)
 
RECOMMENDED BUT NOT REQUIREDKeith C. Barton and Linda S. Levstik,
Teaching History for the Common Good 
(2004)
 
 3
Articles
. Most articles are available through the UIC Library website. Exceptions willeither be handed out, or more likely, available on the course wiki site (information on thatto follow).
Email network.
You are required as well to subscribe to the email list H-High-S, anelectronic forum on secondary school history teaching. Please go to this website tosubscribe:http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/ . We will occasionally begin classes with discussion of the messages on this list. Prior toSeptemer 4th, please forward me your first regular message from the list to confirm thatyou have successfully subscribed.
Clinical Hours.
Before October 23rd, all non-certified students must complete 10clinical hours observing or working with a middle school or high school history or socialstudies teacher(s). If you need assistance finding a school, please let me know. To verify
your hours, you must submit your “Field Experience Logs” online through the Council on
Teacher Education website, http:
//www.uic.edu/educ/cte/ (go to “Current Students” andthen to “Early Field Experiences”). An email with further information will be coming to
your uic.edu address (and only that address) from Betsy Gates of the CTE explaining thelogistics of these logs.
Written Work/Assignments.
 All assignments must be submitted by email
 — 
and only byemail.
Please be attentive to all assignments and written work embedded in the syllabus,especially the curriculum work (partial drafts due 10/2 and 10/30; full draft due 11/13 andfinal version due 11/27; see details for project at the end of the syllabus) and the 10-15page primary source-based paper on some part of Chicago or Illinois history, dueDecember 9
th
. When you do curricular work,
 please include all of it in one document 
.
 
More generally, I am convinced that good writing is critical to good history teaching, sowe will be paying a good amount of attention to your prose. Toward that end, each of your papers should include
an appendix
 
(“the Lasch appendix”)
that lists three writingissues from Lasch
’s
Plain Style
that you have tried to improve or perfect. Please list therelevant page number.Beware also of my pet writing peeves. Feel free to add more of these obsessions to theclass
’s burden:
 --unless you are British, place commas and periods
inside
quotation marks.--use italics, not underlining, for book and journal titles.--d
on’t use semicolons unless you have a license.
To move toward getting your license,please see http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon.

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