Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Should History Undegraduates Know: Part Two

A few weeks ago I introduced the readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home to the American Historical Association's Tuning Project.  This 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.

Today, while browsing at the blog of the Historical Society, Dana Hamlin taught me about another barometer for measuring the skills of an undergraduate history major. The History Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association has recently released its information literacy guidelines and competencies for undergraduate history students.  According to these competencies, history students should be able to:

1.  Understand the structure of historical information and the historical research process.

2.  Identify and locate historical research sources through appropriate methods, techniques, and tools

3.  Critically evaluate and interpret the body of historical research uncovered

4.  Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose and to develop a historical argument

5.  Understand and respect the ethical conventions of the historical discipline.

Click here to see how the report develops each one of these points.