HIST 415
Senior Seminar

Syllabus
Fall 2003

This class is now taught by Mr. Fedrick.

Please go to http://staff.kings.edu/hbfedric/history415.html.

e-mail: bapavlacATkings.edu
Tel: (570) 208-5900, ext. # 5748
Fax: (570) 208-5988 


I. Description

This course is designed to integrate discipline-specific knowledge into a culminating senior experience. Students will be required to analyze and discuss all facets of historical presentations, including scholarly works and public history. Each class member will make an in-depth public presentation demonstrating some aspect of historical research, study, or professional involvement. This course offers senior history majors an opportunity to both sum up their undergraduate historical study and prepare for life beyond graduation.


II. Purpose

This is a History Major Required course, your last course requirement.

Objectives for the student:

  1. To identify the major events, persons and ideas of  history.
  2. To develop concepts and methods which give an understanding of what influenced the attitudes and behavior of major participants in political situations.
  3. To practice critical and analytical skills on historical problems.
  4. To identify and analyze significant problems and situations as they relate to the current issues and the investigation of the past.
  5. To be aware of options for careers and activities after graduation.

Goals for the student:

  1. To improve understanding of major events which have influenced the modern world
  2. To understand the influence of the past on contemporary events and problems, or, in other words, to develop "Historical Mindedness."
  3. To be and intelligent consumer and evaluator of information about events in the world.
  4. To develop a global perspective which recognizes the political, economic and cultural interdependence of all nations.
  5. To prepare for life in our contemporary society.

General Learning Outcomes for the student:

In addition to the more content related objectives described above, this course has some general liberal learning goals. Successful completion of this course is expected to help improve your ability

  1. To manage information, which involves sorting data, ranking data for significance, synthesizing facts, concepts and principles.
  2. To understand and use organizing principles or key concepts against which miscellaneous data can be evaluated.
  3. To differentiate between facts, opinions and inferences.
  4. To frame questions in order to more clearly clarify a problem, topic or issue.
  5. To compare and contrast the relative merits of opposing arguments and interpretations, moving between the main points of each position.
  6. To organize your thoughts and communicate them clearly and concisely in a written form.
  7. To obtain practice in selecting and presenting information and arguments within a restricted environment, especially the limitations of time in exams.

III. General Requirements

1. Textbooks:

These books are intended both to provide you with important factual and background information and to be used as review and reference work. According to your printed class schedule, you should read the chapters or pages assigned. You are responsible for the material in the books for classroom activity.

It is highly recommended that you use other textbooks as reference works.

In your texts, you prudently should make notes in the margins or a notebook, underline key statements, highlight important passages, and/or annotate essential details.

The instructor will give quizzes to test your textbook reading and comprehension.  


2. Class Participation

Participation and attendance are necessary to achieve class goals and objectives. Thus a portion of your grade (about 25%) will depend on your in-class performance. You are required to attend each class, maintain proper classroom decorum, respond to questions, ask questions and participate in discussions and/or class projects.  For class discussions you may be asked to present a short oral report or lead a discussion.  Unexcused absences will substantially lower the class participation portion of your grade.

Absences due to college activities, emergency or extended illness may be excused by the appropriate college official.  Other absences are unexcused and will substantially lower the class participation portion of your grade.  After any absence, you are responsible for making up missed work, requesting hand-outs and already returned assignments, or borrowing notes from other students.  

If at some point during the semester you must discontinue the course, due to poor performance, illness or some other cause, be sure to follow proper administrative procedures for withdrawal.

Meeting due dates are an important aspect of school work.  You must give presentations and reports on the dates assigned or receive zero points for that assignment.  Written assignments must be handed in, in person, at the beginning of class on the dates assigned.  Late papers/projects will receive zero points for that assignment.  Since this class is necessary for graduation with a history major, please be aware of possible consequences for failing to meet class requirements.

Also note the academic honesty policy. In a course such as this, where you are responsible for working without close supervision, so please be aware of your moral, ethical and legal obligation only to submit work completed by you yourself.

3. Minor Written Assignments:

Throughout the semester you will participate in various projects in class and have brief written assignments due as assigned, each worth from 10-20 points. You will also produce an annotated study guide on one social science (25 points), an employment skills summary (20 points) and discussion of current events (50 points).  For more information, consult the printed syllabus.    

For all written assignments, be sure to follow the presentation guidelines. And proper Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style formatting of bibliographies and citations.  


4. Major Project:

You will have different assignments depending on which track is appropriate for your study.  More information will be given to you in print.  Your track must be explicitly confirmed by the instructor in writing after an individual discussion before the assigned due date.

Track 1: Education.  If you are a secondary education double major or have other concrete educational career plans, you will be in this track.  Your main assignment will be to prepare a complete lesson plan and assessment program for a hypothetical unit to teach in a class.  For some useful lesson plans see <http://www.edsitement.neh.gov/>.

Track 2: Law School.  If you are planning to go on to get a law degree or enter public service, you will be in this track.  Your main assignment will be to prepare a detailed legal and constitutional study of a current public policy question.

Track 3: Professional Historian.  If you are planning to go on to graduate school in history or take a position as a professional historian, you will be in this track.  Your main assignment will be to prepare a research paper on a relevant historical subject.

Track 4: Other.  If you have different, or uncategorized career plans (business, following your second major, etc.) you will be on this track.  Your main assignment will be individually tailored to your anticipated future needs.

Plagiarism on written assignments is a serious breach of expected academic honesty. For more information see, http://departments.kings.edu/history/honesty.html.

For general information about presentation and writing of papers click here.


5. Status Reports:

  On the scheduled day of Status Report you must give an approximately five-minute presentation of the current progress of your research.  You will be evaluated on the clarity of your presentation, the apparent amount of work achieved, and the indications of thought about future progress. You must be able to answer questions about your project.  You should, if possible, offer help to other students with their projects.  


6. Exams and Quizzes:

Throughout the semester you will have to take exams and quizzes. This may entail knowledge from readings or general knowledge from current events, historical content, or the material of social studies.  To study for these quizzes you should read any assignments, but also review material you have learned over the years and attend to daily news reports.  The final exam will be made up of questions related to the presentations of the major projects.

Much of this is meant to help with the social studies PRAXIS exams.  For more on these exams, check the following web pages: 

Social Studies: Content Knowledge http://www.ets.org/praxis/taags/prx0081.html;
Social Studies: Interpretation of Materials: http://www.ets.org/praxis/taags/prx0083.html;
Social Studies: Interpretation and Analysis: http://www.ets.org/praxis/taags/prx0085.html;
Social Studies: Analytical Essays: http://www.ets.org/praxis/taags/prx0082.html.


IV. Grades:

You earn your grade through work done for this course.  For more information see grading policy. It s your responsibility to understand why you have achieved a certain grade, and what steps you can take to maintain or improve your grade.  You are encouraged to consult with the instructor during office hours or by appointment about all assignments.  Assignments not done on schedule may receive no points.  

For your protection, in case of errors in recording, you should keep copies of all assignments until you have received notice of your grade.  Check your printed syllabus for more information.


VI. Tentative Class Schedule:

All topics and assignments on the schedule are tentative; the instructor may change them at his discretion.  For proper and current information consult the printed syllabus or consult the instructor.  

Main Topics Assignments
1. Orientation: History and You
2.  Career Planning History Jobs
3. What is a Historian?
4. History Review Sept 23, Major Project TOPIC Due
5.  Status Report October 14, Tentative Bibliography Due
6. Social Studies Review
7. Project November 4, Major Project Due
8.  Presentations November 11, 18
9. Final Exam December 9

URL: http://departments.kings.edu/history/hist415.html
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Last Revision: 28 October 2004