History is a way of knowing that develops students’ ability to understand and explain the interaction of continuity and change over time by using historical methods. In particular, this includes applying knowledge of contexts to study specific evidence in order to investigate and make intelligible particular topics from the human past. Courses in history should contain the following six dimensions of inquiry: temporal, contextual, analytical, rhetorical, geographical, and human.
Through the engagement of these six elements, students will come to appreciate the temporal extent and evolution of historical activities, the importance of context to all historical interpretation, the complexities of analyzing primary sources, the necessity of appreciating the evolution of language and rhetoric in historical narrative, the conditioning aspects of geography, and the role of individuals in determining the course of history. Through studies in history, students should be able to grasp the process of describing an event, process, or issue while considering all of the different forces and contexts that guided or influenced its unfolding. An understanding of history should lead to a deeper understanding of the problems facing contemporary society.
Courses in the history category may be taught in disciplines outside history; classics and American studies are obvious homes for such courses.