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Catalog Archive / Spring 2020

Transforming History
A Guide to Effective, Inclusive, and Evidence-Based Teaching

“As director of a teaching and learning center, each year I would give incoming faculty a book on teaching that they would find not only immediately useful, but one to which they could return time and again. Mary Jo Festle's excellent contribution certainly hits that mark.”
—Steven S. Volk, Oberlin College

Teaching history well is not just a matter of knowing history—it is a set of skills that can be developed and honed through practice. In this theoretically informed but eminently practical volume, Mary Jo Festle examines the recent explosion of research on the teaching and learning of history. Illuminated by her own work, Festle applies the concept of "backward design" as an organizing framework to the history classroom. She provides concrete strategies for setting up an environment that is inclusive and welcoming but still challenging and engaging.

Instructors will improve their own conceptual understandings of teaching and learning issues, as well as receive guidance on designing courses and implementing pedagogies consistent with that research tells us about how students learn. The books offers practical illustrations of assignments, goals, questions, grading rubrics, unit plans, and formats for peer observation that are adaptable for courses on any subject and of any size. Transforming History is a critical guide for higher and secondary education faculty—neophytes and longtime professionals alike—working to improve student learning.


Mary Jo Festle. Mary Jo Festle is the Maude Sharpe Powell Professor of History and the associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University.




“Festle's command of the scholarship of teaching and learning in history is impressive, as is her integration of theory and practice. This book should be on the shelves of any well-stocked collection in a university teaching and learning center.”
—Joel Sipress, University of Wisconsin-Superior



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Of Related Interest


Teaching U.S. History through Sports
Edited by Brad Austin and Pamela Grundy

Transforming History: Cover art of a lightly cracked white background with a smear of bright yellow, orange, and pink across the bottom of the page. The title text is written just above with bit of color.

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April 2020
LC: 2019039070 D
304 pp. 6 x 9
2 figs., 3 tables, 11 examples

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Cloth $34.95 A
ISBN 9780299326807
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