Thanks to a grant from CU's Undergraduate Education Development Program, the History Department has hired Natalie Mendoza to lead a department-wide project to rethink and improve undergraduate history pedagogy, an effort that we are calling the History Teaching & Learning Project (HTLP).
Natalie earned her PhD in US history at UC Berkeley and wrote her dissertation on the impact of the Good Neighbor Policy and WWII on the relationship between the federal government and Mexican Americans in the US Southwest. Aside from research interests that include intellectual history, the history of education, Mexican American and Chicana/o history, US Latina/o history, US civil rights history, and the history of race and racism in the US, Natalie has extensive training in the history and practice of pedagogy at multiple levels. She has co-organized two international teaching history conferences to support teachers and professors across the K-16 continuum, and she was recently invited by the American Historical Association (AHA) to be on a panel to discuss the role of pedagogy in the Career Diversity initiative, the AHA's latest effort at preparing history doctoral students for a range of careers within and outside the professoriate. We are thrilled to have someone with Natalie’s expertise, experience, and enthusiasm at the helm for this project.
The goal of the History Teaching & Learning Project is to rethink and improve undergraduate history pedagogy by engaging in a systematic, department-wide discussion of, and assessment of, what student learning objectives in history should be, how we teach our courses and how we might improve our pedagogy by engaging with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in History, how we might refresh our major to better reflect the outcomes of these discussions, and how we can better communicate the value of an undergraduate education in history to our students and the public at large.