We've heard our students mumble in the hall outside that “history class sucks.” I personally like to stand outside the classroom on the first day wearing my aviator shades and standing quietly while the students complain about crashing, and how much they're not looking forward to what's coming up. Why have they already made up their minds before they've stepped through the doort? Why do students hate history with such passion? Its sad. Once they get in there, I try to win some of them over. Remember that all of their favorite hobbies have a history all their own. Do they like cars? Do they like dance? Do they like religion? Each has its own history. What their problem is, I think, is that we've never made what we teach relevant to the students. Especially in courses like Early American History, there is such a large disconnect between what they study and how they live that it seems irrelevent. But you and I know that what happened in colonial America is entirely relevant to what they are facing today. Just look at a guy like Glen Beck. He makes a living getting on TV and telling the American public that history is important. Of course, what he does is hardly good scholarship. Its popular though. We can change what we do, which is good scholarship, into what Beck does, which is popular. Create good scholarship that informs the population.
Are you an adjunct? Contact us. We're looking to produce that good, relevant history that will stop students from saying that “history class sucks.”