From College to High School Classrooms: Closing the Gap in Teaching U.S. History Curriculum

Solicited by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS).
Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Teaching, and the OAH Membership Committee

Saturday, April 4, 2020, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: General/Survey; Immigration and Internal Migration; Teaching and Pedagogy


Significant inequities in content, nuance, and historiographical currency characterize the divide between U.S. history as taught on university campuses and in high school classrooms. Despite these differences, college students increasingly fulfil their general education requirements for U.S. history in high school classes through AP and dual credit programs, and many receive BA degrees without taking a class from a trained historian who teaches about historical research methods, modes of analysis, and arguments. This roundtable presents strategies for addressing these divides by presenting the project, which provides teaching materials targeting high school teachers of U.S. history and civics courses.

Session Participants

Chair: Rosina Lozano, Princeton University
Rosina Lozano is a historian of Latino history with a research and teaching focus on Mexican American history, the American West, migration and immigration, and comparative studies in race and ethnicity. Lozano's first book, An American Language: The History of Spanish in the United States (published by The University of California Press in April 2018), is a political history of the Spanish language in the United States from the incorporation of the Mexican cession in 1848 through World War II, with some discussion of the following decades and present-day concerns. Lozano is working on a second book, tentatively titled Intertwined Roots: Mexican Americans and Native Americans in the Southwest, which tells the story of the ever-changing relationship between Mexican Americans and Native peoples from 1848 through the 1970s. Lozano has received fellowships from the Huntington Library and the New Mexico Office of the State Historian to aid her research. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Lozano held a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation that she completed at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Stanford University.

Panelist: Madeline Y. Hsu, University of Texas at Austin
Madeline Y. Hsu is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and served as Director of the Center for Asian American Studies eight years (2006-2014). She is president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and vice-president of the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas. She was born in Columbia, Missouri but grew up in Taiwan and Hong Kong between visits with her grandparents at their store in Altheimer, Arkansas. She received her undergraduate degrees in History from Pomona College and PhD from Yale University. Her first book was Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration between the United States and South China, 1882-1943 (Stanford University Press, 2000). Her most recent monograph, The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority (Princeton University Press, 2015), received awards from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, and the Association for Asian American Studies. Her third book, Asian American History: A Very Short Introduction was published by Oxford University Press in 2016 and the co-edited anthology, A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: U.S. Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965 was published in 2019 by the University of Illinois Press.

Panelist: Esther June Kim, University of Texas at Austin
Esther June Kim is a doctoral candidate in social studies education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on how race and religion shape civic identities of students. Prior to her graduate studies, she taught world history, U.S. history, and humanities for six years at the high school level.

Panelist: David Riesenfeld, New York City Department of Education
David Riesenfeld is currently an Assistant Principal at a public secondary school in Queens, NY. After teaching high school history for 10 years, he’s spent the last 7 years working as a public school administrator focusing on full school change, curriculum development, and teacher growth. Alongside this work, he has worked with different initiatives involving the development of close reading modules for history classrooms, and in various capacities with the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History (GLI) including the teaching of special topics courses in American History, facilitating summer teacher seminars at various universities, and lead writer and actor for GLI’s Advanced Placement American History Study guide.