Program Overview

The program in History Education is concerned with how young people make sense of the past in school and out-of-school settings. The program explores core issues of teaching and learning and, most broadly, engages the very nature of historical consciousness: What does it mean to live in a present suffused by the past? How is history taught and learned in schools? How does history become part of one’s resources for building a meaningful identity and life?

Newsflash: Four-year fully funded fellowships available, with generous monthly living stipend. Apply now!

Taught well, history fosters tolerance for complexity and intolerance for simple answers. How can schools teach young people to discern reasoned interpretations from stances that seek to extinguish -- not promote -- critical judgment? What can educators do to cultivate historical reasoning and teach young people that there's more to the past than just names and dates? State-of-the-art research shows that even elementary school children can learn to think historically, but such classrooms are rare. How can we design bold pedagogies and innovative curriculum so that such classrooms become the rule, not the exception, for all students -- not just the privileged?

New technologies offer a potential answer but one that has yet to be realized. Digital media allow 10-year-olds to enter on-line archives that a few years ago required flights across the country and layers of written consent. How can we use such technologies so that students grasp the rich complexity of the documentary record? How can we prepare teachers who are able to turn digital materials into programs for advancing students' understanding?

Much history learning goes on outside of school. Hollywood's "Cultural Curriculum" -popular movies, the 24/7 History Channel, MTV, Facebook, Disney and the other forces of culture--have a profound influence on the shape of historical consciousness. People learn history at their kitchen tables, at family reunions, during visits to museums, national parks, and historic sites. Researchers have only begun to scratch the surface in understanding how these venues contribute to historical consciousness. Much work remains.

There are no formal prerequisites for admission to this program. Experience in teaching history/social science is a definite asset and provides a useful entry point to many of these questions. But more important than any particular prior experience is a boundless curiosity to understand how the past shapes understanding in the present and how we can learn more about designing effective educational programs. Many backgrounds prepare one for successful graduate study in this Ph.D. concentration: teaching, filmmaking, museum or web design, tour guiding, and archival work are some of the many possibilities.

The following document was designed to answer the most common questions about the program. By reading this document and looking through the information on SUSE’s website http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/admissions/hints-faqs.html you will find answers to many questions you might have about a possible next step at Stanford. If you have questions not addressed by these documents, write a follow-up email and we will try to respond as soon as possible.  

 

 FAQs  

  1. What faculty members are associated with History Education?
  2. What can I do with a Ph.D. in this field?
  3. Why is the program called “History Education” when most programs in Schools of Education are called “Social Studies Education”?
  4. How long does the program take?
  5. What about required courses?
  6. Can I continue to work and complete Stanford’s program part-time?
  7. What does Stanford “look for” in applicants?
  8. But still, there has to be some basic aspect that unifies the kind of people Stanford admits?
  9. How competitive is admission?
  10. I wasn’t accepted last year. Can I reapply?
  11. Can I come to campus and sit in on classes to see if it is “for me”?
  12. Are GREs needed for admission? Is there a “cutoff score”?
  13. My Goodness! I looked at Stanford’s tuition! There’s no way I can pay this. Are there any scholarships or assistantships?
  14. What kind of research do students do?
  15. Will I get a chance to teach during my Ph.D. program?
  16. How can I learn more about the kind of research in History Education?
  17. What is the relationship between the program in History Education in the school of education and Stanford’s History department?
  18. I saw there is a program called “Learning Sciences, Design and Technology” and my interests are in History Ed and Technology. What should I do?
  19. I started my Ph.D. in history but now think I am really interested in teaching. Is this the program for me?
  20. I have read all of these materials, looked at the books and articles you’ve suggested and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the program for me. Now what do I do?
  21. I am now a graduate student at Stanford, and I want to know the best way to send my adviser chapters of my dissertation. Any advice?

 

What faculty members are associated with History Education?

         Sam Wineburg, Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and Professor of History (by courtesy) directs the program, which is one of five subject matter specializations in the Ph.D. program in “Curriculum and Teacher Education.” In addition to Wineburg, SUSE is fortunate to have two historians of education, Professors David Labaree and Leah Gordon, who teach courses that our students take. We are a fairly small faculty – only 42 professors – so you will have many opportunities to interact with us as well as to take courses with Stanford professors across the entire university.

 

What can I do with a Ph.D. in this field?

        Many things. Conduct educational evaluations, direct a history museum, design educational software in history, write curricula, open up a consulting business, shoot history videos – the possibilities are endless. However, the bulk of SUSE Ph.D. students end up pursuing college and university teaching and research in a College of Education. About three-quarters of our graduates ultimately become professors.

 

Why is the program called “History Education” when most programs in Schools of Education are called “Social Studies Education”?

         Because the focus of the program is on how history is taught and learned. Social studies can mean many things, from citizenship education to service learning to character education to the teaching of psychology. Rather than trying to span this important territory and spreading ourselves too thin, we limit our focus to history education.

 

How long does the program take?

         This is a hard question to answer. If you come into our program with Master’s degree credits that can be transferred (see Stanford’s general admission website, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/registrar/bulletin/pdf/GraduateDegrees.pdf ), you can finish coursework in about 2.5 years; if not, then expect about three years. In general, we expect students to complete their degrees in four to five years.

 

What about required courses?

Students in the History Education concentration take the required courses for the Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Teacher Education. For more information see the CT&E website, http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/programs-degrees/program-cte.html Beyond these courses, the program is individually tailored with your advisor and constructed to meet your own interests and aspirations.

 

Can I continue to work and complete Stanford’s program part-time?

         No. Stanford’s Ph.D. program is full-time.

 

What does Stanford “look for” in applicants?

         This is another one of those impossible questions. It bears repeating the information that appears on the general SUSE website: We receive more qualified applications than we have places. There are several excellent programs in History Education, not just Stanford’s (see, for example, the program at the University of Michigan or the University of British Columbia).  You should check out those programs as well to determine the best fit. At Stanford, we look for people who have thought hard about what they want to do in life, who have some significant accomplishments under their belts, and who have demonstrated perseverance, creativity, resolve, and a dedication to improving education, broadly defined. Applicants who fulfill these criteria don’t fit any cookie-cutter mold.

 

But still, there has to be some basic aspect that unifies the kind of people Stanford admits?

         Perhaps what unites the people we admit is their commitment to asking questions about the educational process. Even if they don’t quite understand what it means to do research in education, they have a basic curiosity about why things work and don’t work, and what we might do to make them better. .

 

How competitive is admission?

         Competitive. In an average year, we admit one or two people to the Ph.D. program in History Education. On average, we receive 8-10 applications.

 

I wasn’t accepted last year. Can I reapply?

         Yes.

 

Can I come to campus and sit in on classes to see if it is “for me”?

         Yes. The best way to get a feel for a program is to talk to students currently enrolled. If you would like to do that, we would be happy to provide you with the emails of some current students. If you would like to visit campus, let us know and we’ll try to set up some meetings as well.

 

Are GREs needed for admission? Is there a “cutoff score”?

         Yes to the first question, no to the second. See the information on this on the general SUSE site.

 

My Goodness! I looked at Stanford’s tuition! There’s no way I can pay this. Are there any scholarships or assistantships?

         Relax. All students admitted to our Ph.D. program receive generous financial aid. You won’t get rich doing your Ph.D., but you won’t go into hock either. All students admitted to the program receive fours years guaranteed of funding – this aid covers tuition and provides a monthly living stipend!

 

What kind of research do students do?

In general, students engage in research apprenticeships in the on-going projects connected to history education. Right now, one big project we have is devoted to working on Web-based approaches to teaching history; another looks at using the Web to promote cross-cultural historical understanding (between American & Swedish students, to start); a third project tracks changes in young people’s historical consciousness by comparing their ideas to those of their parents and grandparents; a final project aims at developing a new methodology to understand what people learn during visits to museums. Additionally, we are working on a book that will help teachers teach high school students to “think historically.”

In September 2007, a consortium of George Mason University, Stanford’s History Education Group, and the American Historical Association was awarded 7.1 million dollars to create a new national clearinghouse on history education, a virtual one-stop center for all matters related to K-12 history teaching. http://www.stanfordreports.edu/....

 

Will I get a chance to teach during my Ph.D. program?

Most students do. For example, Professor Wineburg teaches the Master’s level “Teaching History” methods course for new teachers, and many Ph.D. students serve as the TA in that course – especially those with prior middle school or high school teaching experience. By the time most SUSE students graduate, they will have served as a TA in at least one or more courses, preparing and delivering lectures on the topics of their dissertations.

 

How can I learn more about the kind of research in History Education?

         A good overview is Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. New York: NYU Press. An excellent article on history education appeared in the American Historical Review in October 2004, “The Amateur in the Operating Room: History and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” by David Pace. You can also check out Professor Wineburg’s SUSE website, which contains links to papers and interviews (http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/faculty/index.html ) as well as this link to a brief overview of his work http://www.ascd.org/authors/ed_lead/el200409_wineburg.html. Another place to look at some of the work we’ve been doing is http://www.historicalthinkingmatters.org as well as the new Federal Clearinghouse for History Education, http://teachinghistory.org

 

 

What is the relationship between the program in History Education in the school of education and Stanford’s History department?

         The relationship isn’t formal, but several students in our program have decided to do their Ph.D. “minor” in history, and to pick up a history MA along the way. (For information on the Ph.D. minor, see the general SUSE website). Because our program has few required courses, you will have the full range of Stanford’s course offerings to choose from as you design your program of study.

 

I saw there is a program called “Learning Sciences, Design and Technology” and my interests are in History Ed and Technology. What should I do?

         If you bring experience in technology and are interested in weaving aspects of technology into your Ph.D. work, you might consider the LSDT program option as well. See

http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/programs-degrees/program-lstd-phd.html

 

I started my Ph.D. in history but now think I am really interested in teaching. Is this the program for me?

         Possibly. But recognize that our program, like all SUSE’s Ph.D. programs, is research oriented. But rather than engaging in archival historical research, you will learn to do research on the thinking and learning of history (known in higher education as the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning”). On this topic see the article in the American Historical Review cited above.

 

I have read all of these materials, looked at the books and articles you’ve suggested and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the program for me. Now what do I do?

         Apply. Devote a lot of thought to your statement of purpose – the admissions committee looks carefully at these statements. It should not be a narrative of your resume (“I did this, then I did that, and then I did something else”) even if the things you did do were impressive. The best statements convey something of your essence and communicate why you think our program is the best fit. We look forward to reading your application.

 

 

I am now a graduate student at Stanford and I want to know the best way to send my adviser chapters of my dissertation. Any advice?

        Yes. See the sage comments offered at this site, http://ctl.stanford.edu/Tomprof/postings/747.html


Sample Ph.D Courses

Research in History and Social Science Education

Memory, History, and Education

Scholarly Writing in Education and the Social Sciences

History of Education in the United States

History of Higher Education in the U.S.

History of School Reform: Origins, Policies, Outcomes, and Explanations

Teaching the Unteachable: Teaching and Representing the Holocaust

Teaching in the Humanities-Research into Adolescent Literacy

Introduction to Statistical Methods in Education

Inquiry and Measurement in Education

Statistical Analysis in Education: Regression

Qualitative Analysis in Education

The Discourses of Teaching Reading

Introduction to Research in Curriculum and Teacher Education

Doctoral Seminar in Curriculum

EDUC 496: Research in History and Social Science Education

For doctoral students. Literature on historical learning and teaching and corresponding social sciences research designs, assessment, and curriculum evaluation.

Instructors: Wineburg, S.

Syllabus

EDUC 356/HISTORY 337C : Memory, History, and Education

Interdisciplinary. Since Herodotus, history and memory have competed to shape minds: history cultivates doubt and demands interpretation; memory seeks certainty and detests that which thwarts its aims. History and memory collide in modern society, often violently. How do young people become historical amidst these forces; how do school, family, nation, and mass media contribute to the process?

Instructors: Wineburg, S.

Syllabus

EDUC 395: Scholarly Writing in Education and the Social Sciences

Focus is on producing articles for scholarly journals in education and the social sciences. Ethics and craft of scholarly publishing. Writing opinion articles for lay audiences on issues of educational and social import.

Instructors: Wineburg, S.

Syllabus

EDUC 201/ HISTORY 158B: History of Education in the United States

How education came to its current forms and functions, from the colonial experience to the present. Focus is on the 19th-century invention of the common school system, 20th-century emergence of progressive education reform, and the developments since WW II. The role of gender and race, the development of the high school and university, and school organization, curriculum, and teaching.

Instructors: Gordon, L.

EDUC 265/HISTORY 158C: History of Higher Education in the U.S.

Major periods of evolution, particularly since the mid-19th century. Premise: insights into contemporary higher education can be obtained through its antecedents, particularly regarding issues of governance, mission, access, curriculum, and the changing organization of colleges and universities.

Instructors: Gordon, L.

EDUC 220D/HISTORY 258E: History of School Reform: Origins, Policies, Outcomes, and Explanations

Focus is on 20th-century U.S. intended and unintended patterns in school change; the paradox of reform that schools are often reforming but never seem to change much; rhetorics of reform and factors that inhibit change. Case studies emphasize the American high school.

Instructors: Labaree, D.

EDUC 253X /HISTORY 237B: Teaching the Unteachable: Teaching and Representing the Holocaust

Theodore Adorno asked whether it was possible to write poetry after Auschwitz; whatever the answer, each year witnesses exponential growth in state-sponsored mandates to teach the Holocaust. How and to what end does catastrophe become curriculum? How to assess what students learn from these efforts. The Nazis' efforts to teach for hate, and contemporary parallels. Historical and educational sources, especially films and memoirs.

Instructors: Wineburg, S.

EDUC 373X: Teaching in the Humanities-Research into Adolescent Literacy

Relatively little attention has been paid to the role of humanities courses in teaching both general and disciplinary skills in reading and writing. With the growth of small schools, more middle and high school teachers find themselves teaching Humanities courses. This seminar will explore what it means to teach the humanities, with special attention to how such courses can develop disciplinary reading and writing skills. Course will investigate how we develop tools to assess teaching and learning in the humanities.

Instructors: Grossman, P.; Wineburg, S.

EDUC 160: Introduction to Statistical Methods in Education

Describing measured, count, and categorical data. Statistical inference procedures for comparisons of group outcomes and for associations among variables. Course content integrated with statistical computing in R.

Instructors: Hakuta, K.

EDUC 250A: Inquiry and Measurement in Education

Part of doctoral research core. The logic of scientific inquiry in education, including identification of research questions, selection of qualitative or quantitative research methods, design of research studies, measurement, and collection, analysis and interpertation of evidence.

Instructors: Loeb, S.; Stevens, M.

EDUC 250B: Statistical Analysis in Education: Regression

Primarily for doctoral students; part of doctoral research core; prerequisite for advanced statistical methods courses in School of Education. Basic regression, a widely used data-analytic procedure, including multiple and curvilinear regression, regression diagnostics, analysis of residuals and model selection, logistic regression. Proficiency with statistical computer packages. Instructors: Bettinger, E.

EDUC 250C: Qualitative Analysis in Education

Primarily for doctoral students; part of doctoral research core. Methods for collecting and interpreting qualitative data including case study, ethnograpy, discourse analysis, observation, and interview.

Instructors: Barron, B.; Goldman, S.

EDUC 318X: The Discourses of Teaching Reading

Students examine language, social relationships, and students' textual sense-making to further develop their conceptions of reading comprehension and their pedagogical practice as reading teachers. What it means to comprehend text; how classroom discourse matters in the development of textual understanding; and what understandings, purposes, and relationships should matter in classroom talk about text. Field work in which students facilitate small group text discussions for the duration of the quarter at a location of their choice.

Instructors: Aukerman, M.

EDUC 424: Introduction to Research in Curriculum and Teacher Education

Limited to second-year doctoral students in CTE. How to conceptualize, design, and interpret research. How to read, interpret, and critique research; formulate meaningful research questions; evaluate and conduct a literature review; and conceptualize a study. Readings include studies from different research paradigms. Required literature review in an area students expect to explore for their qualifying paper.

Instructors: Borko, H.

EDUC 466: Doctoral Seminar in Curriculum

Required of all doctoral students in CTE, normally during their second year in the program. Students present their ideas regarding a dissertation or other research project, and prepare a short research proposal that often satisfies their second-year review. (CTE)

Instructors: Darling-Hammond, L.

 

Sample Dissertation Titles (of current students and recent graduates)

Learning to Use Evidence in Historical Writing

By Chauncey Monte-Sano

 

Teaching for Historical Thinking: Teacher Conceptions, Practices, and Constraints

By Daisy Martin

 

Learning Our Histories: History and Identity at a Jewish Community High School

By Sivan Zakai

 

Excellence for All: American School Reform, 1983-2008

By Jack Schneider

 

Reading Like a Historian:  A Documents-Based History Curriculum Intervention with Adolescent Struggling Readers
By Abby Reisman

 

"What Every Student Should Know and Be Able To Do": The Making of California's Framework, Standards, and Tests for History-Social Science
By Brad Fogo