Expectations for student learning in the Luther College history department derive from our understanding of the discipline of history as defined by the American Historical Association, the largest professional organization for historians in the United States:
History is an encompassing discipline. Its essence is in the connectedness of historical events and human experiences. By examining the causes, contexts, and chronologies of events, one gains an understanding of the nature of continuity and change in human experiences. Contemporary issues, ideas, and relationships take on new meaning when they are explored from historical perspectives.
Thus as historians, we can investigate any element of the past we choose, but we are guided in our study by a set of questions that are applicable across time and place: why and how does change occur over time? How do the local, national, and global contexts affect particular groups of people and influence events? What causes specific events to occur (and when does something that happens prior to such an event have no causal link to it)?
Along with the content of the courses, the study of history at Luther College teaches students the following skills – skills relevant to many occupations and careers
In the study of history, students encounter many scenarios and situations in which individuals and groups made decisions that significantly impacted the lives of others. As part of the development of the whole person, we consider such decisions in a way that
Although the history department anticipates that all of its courses will include each of these learning goals, we fully recognize that certain courses will emphasize some over others. As a general rule of thumb,