Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Shared by the BA in History: General Option and Teacher Preparation Option

  • Acquire historical content knowledge, including an understanding of cause and effect, and distinctions between facts and interpretations
  • Understand the basic themes and issues of the history of the United States, Latin America, Europe, and at least one other region of the world: Africa, Asia, Middle East
  • Learn to identify arguments in historical scholarship and to evaluate them through critical thinking skills
  • Acquire a mastery of the basic principles of historical research, analysis, and discourse
  • Understanding of scholarly differences among historians and the nature of historiographic debate and change
  • Understand the nature and goals of history as a discipline
  • Recognize and understand the leading schools of twentieth-century historical discourse
  • First-hand exposure to primary sources in a majority of class sessions
  • Participate in active learning in the majority of class sessions.  Active learning includes student involvement in class discussion, one-minute papers, group work, or other creative projects
  • Develop oral communication skills through a class presentation
  • Develop written communication skills through writing assignments that form a substantial part of the overall grade
  • Show understanding of academic honesty in history, especially proper and improper uses of other authors’ work
  • Demonstrate proper citation and bibliographic skills
  • Develop information literacy skills using campus library resources, with special focus on the effective use and critical understanding of print and electronic research resources
  • Create an extended, original theoretical or historiographical review essay
  • Create an extended original primary-source research project
  • Demonstrate skills for life-long learning through the pursuit of an independent project, beginning with the formulation of an important problem or question and ending with a polished and professional written report and/or oral presentation

Additional Learning Outcomes Specific to the Teacher Preparation Option

  • Understand pedagogical debates and strategies for K-12 history and social science teaching.
  • Create a lesson plan for K-12 classroom use.
  • Acquire the interdisciplinary training necessary for CCTC (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) subject-matter certification in social science for K-12 teaching in the state of California.

Learning Outcomes of the MA in History

  • Disciplinary Goal: Students should understand the nature and goals of History as a discipline.
  • Program Goal: Students should understand the basic themes and issues of the history of at least two distinct geographical/national areas of study represented in the department’s program.
  • Historiographical Goal:  Students should be able to demonstrate a grasp of the conversations/debates between scholars about a particular discipline/field/general topic.
  • Methodological Goal :  Students should be able to demonstrate familiarity with different types of primary and secondary sources and be able to interpret, analyze, and use them in constructing an argument/thesis.
  • Content Goal: Students should be able to deploy a rich body of appropriate data in the construction of theses and arguments.
  • Historical Presentation: Students should be able to demonstrate that they know how to use standard English to construct an argument and to use evidence to support a thesis/argument.
  • Achievement of these goals will be demonstrated, if the papers selected for evaluation demonstrate that History students are able to:
  • identify a historical problem
  • formulate a historical thesis
  • place the problem in its appropriate historical context
  • place the problem in its appropriate historiographical context
  • identify primary and secondary sources relevant to the problem
  • formulate an historical argument using appropriate primary sources and methodology
  • apply rules of historical style and form in their papers.