Professor Getz: How to Teach History Better

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS BLOG -- Trevor Getz is professor of African and world history at San Francisco State University. He has authored or co-authored 12 books on African and world history, including “Abina and the Important Men,” which won the American Historical Association’s James Harvey Robinson Prize (second edition, Oxford University Press) and is an editor of the Journal of West African History. He is passionate about history education and leads the History for the 21st Century project as well as consulting for the New York Board of Education. He recently won the 2019 Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award by the American Historical Association.

“We need to be more introspective and consequential about the results of our teaching — we need to assess new projects for efficacy and make the findings made public to contribute directly to even better approaches built on that learning,” Getz wrote. “Academics need to pay more attention to lessons we can learn from teachers, in particular those in secondary education. At the same time, universities — including major research universities — need to truly deliver on their promises to emphasize teaching, including making changes to systems of reward such as tenure for individuals and the awarding of lines or positions for departments.”