LMU HISTORY DEPARTMENT STANDARDS*
History is a set of evolving practices that allow us to interpret the past with clarity, rigor, and an appreciation for interpretative debate. It requires evidence, sophisticated use of information, and a deliberative stance to explain change and continuity over time. As a profoundly public pursuit, history is essential to active and empathetic citizenship and requires effective communication to make the past accessible to multiple audiences. As a discipline, history entails a set of professional ethics and standards that demand peer review, citation, and toleration for the provisional nature of knowledge.
Core Competencies (Numbers) and Learning Outcomes (Letters)
1 Engage in historical inquiry, research, and analysis.
- Develop a disciplined, skeptical stance and outlook on the world that demands evidence and sophisticated use of information.
- Understand the dynamics of change over time.
- Explore the complexity of the human experience throughout time.
- Evaluate a variety of historical sources for their credibility, position, and perspective.
- Read and contextualize materials from the past with appropriate precision and detail.
2 Practice historical empathy.
- Value the study of the past for its contribution to lifelong learning and critical habits of mind that are essential for effective and engaged citizenship.
- Develop a body of historical knowledge with range and depth.
- Recognize the ongoing provisional nature of knowledge.
- Interpret the past in context; contextualize the past on its own terms.
- Explore multiple historical and theoretical viewpoints that provide perspective on the past.
3 Understand the complex nature of the historical record.
- Distinguish between primary and secondary materials and decide when to use each.
- Choose among multiple tools, methods, and perspectives to investigate and interpret materials from the past.
- Recognize the value of conflicting narratives and evidence.
4 Generate significant, open-ended questions about the past and devise research strategies to answer them.
- Seek a variety of sources that provide evidence to support and argument about the past.
- Develop a methodological practice of gathering, sifting, analyzing, ordering, synthesizing, and interpreting evidence.
- Identify and summarize other scholars' historical arguments.
5 Craft historical narrative and argument.
- Generate a historical argument that is reasoned and based on historical evidence selected, arranged, and analyzed.
- Write effective narrative that describes and analyzes the past for its use in the present.
- Understand that the ethics and practice of history mean recognizing and building on other scholars' work, peer review, and citation.
- Defend a position publicly and revise this position when new evidence requires it.
6 Practice historical thinking as central to engaged citizenship.
- Engage a diversity of viewpoints in a civil and constructive fashion.
- Work cooperatively with others to develop positions that reflect deliberation and differing perspectives.
- Apply historical knowledge and analysis to contribute to contemporary social dialogue.
* Adapted from the AHA Tuning Project: History Discipline Core. See http://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning/history-discipline-core