The Education of Historians for the Twenty-First Century / Edition 1

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In 1962, the American Historical Association published a detailed examination of the state of graduate history education in the United States. Addressing such issues as the supply and demand for teachers, student recruitment, and the best training for advanced degrees, the report set a benchmark against which to judge the study of history. Four decades later, with a substantial grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the AHA has returned to these issues. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century documents the remarkable conclusions of this new study. Both the American academy and the study of history have been dramatically transformed since the original investigation, but doctoral programs in history have barely changed. This report explains why and offers concrete, practical recommendations for improving graduate education. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century stands as the first exploration of graduate training for historians in more than forty years and the best available study of doctoral education in any major academic discipline.

Prepared for the AHA by the Committee on Graduate Education, the report reflects the views and efforts of a cross-section of the entire historical profession. It builds upon a detailed review of the existing research and data on graduate education plus an unprecedented and exhaustive survey of history doctoral programs. The authors visited history departments across the country and consulted with hundreds of individual historians, graduate students, deans, and academic and nonacademic employers of historians, as well as other stakeholders in graduate education. In the last forty years, the ethnic and gender composition of both graduate students and faculty has changed, historical methodologies have been challenged and refined, and the boundaries of historical inquiry have expanded. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century breaks important new ground in addressing these revolutionary intellectual and demographic changes. Combining a detailed snapshot of the profession with a rigorous analysis of recent changes, this volume should become the definitive guide to strategic planning for history departments. It includes practical suggestions for managing institutional change as well as advice for everyone involved in the advanced training of historians, from department chairs to graduate students and from university administrators to the AHA itself. Although focused on history, there are lessons here for any department. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century is a model of in-depth analysis for doctoral education, with recommendations and analyses that will have implications for the entire academy. This volume is required reading for historians, graduate students, university administrators, or anyone interested in the future of higher education.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252071652
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Report and Recommendations
1 We Historians 3
2 Necessary Discussions 45
3 Recommendations 85
Pt. 2 Foundations
4 The National Shape of Doctoral Education: A Survey of Graduate Programs 109
App. A Consultations with the Discipline 139
App. B List of Respondents to the Graduate Program Survey 141
App. C Survey Instrument and Numerical Results, AHA Survey of Doctoral Programs in History (Spring 2001) 144
Selected Bibliography on Graduate Training and Historians 197
Index 217
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2004

    Well, they are trying

    I bought this book at the annual conference of the American Historical Association (the folks who brought you the study and the book). I was mildly disappointed by the book. Yes, the committee is clearly attempting to address some serious failures in graduate education and they raise great questions. Unfortunately, their answers and recommendations do not go far enough. The committee seems to suffer from a lack of imagination---their research could have been more aggressive (they should have aggressively surveyed adjuncts and young faculty, the people who feel that their graduate education has failed them) and they could have been more innovative in their recommendations to departments (their recommendations are actually fairly conservative). As an historian, I feel I am watching my own profession become irrelevant. Let us hope that graduate programs aggressively implement the changes suggested by this study---and that they become creative and implement changes which go beyond those suggested in this book. I strongly recommend the book, not because I think it's great but because I think it opens up a much-needed dialogue. If you are a faculty member at any college or university, this is essential reading.

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