Upon earning a degree in history at Wheaton, you should have a basic understanding:
- That history is a discipline that uses a changing set of tools and rules to interpret the past.
- Of the different ways in which historians think and practice history.
- Of how history became a discipline and of how and why our discipline has changed over time.
- Of what it means to practice the discipline of history ethically.
Upon earning a degree in history at Wheaton, you should know how to:
- Recognize your own relationship and that of the world around you to history and be able to place yourself and that world within an appropriate historical context in ways that promote active and effective citizenship.
- Analyze and summarize, through written work and class discussions, historiography (scholarly writing about history) by identifying the argument, the primary sources on which that argument is based, and by putting that work into historiographical context.
- Weigh, compare, and synthesize different perspectives on a particular question or set of issues, using primary sources, historiography, or a combination of both.
- Cite materials in a manner consistent with the standards of the discipline of history.
- Analyze primary sources, partly by recognizing their genre(s), as well as knowing when it is appropriate and necessary to use a particular genre or genres of primary sources.
- Distinguish between primary and secondary sources and have a sense of when it is appropriate to use which.
- Use electronic databases and printed sources to conduct autonomous research.
- Conceptualize, plan, and execute a long-term original research project by crafting a precise yet open-ended question, finding information relevant to that question, sifting through that information to answer the question, and communicating your answer in an organized and convincing way that hews to the conventions of the discipline of history.
- Communicate persuasively, substantively and concisely in person (one-on-one or in formal presentations) and through writing.
- Operate in contexts when information is abundant and readily available and when information is scarce and/or difficult to find.