Euro. History To Return next year

A modern European history course will be reintroduced as a Senior elective during the 2010-2011 school year. This follows the History department’s decision last year to discontinue History 340, an Advanced Placement Modern European History course. Prior to this year, History 340 has been continuously offered for 76 years. Unlike History 340, the Senior elective will not be an AP course. As part of a school-wide movement to move away from restricting AP curriculums, students who take the new course will not be required to take the AP exam. In order to qualify for History 340, students needed to score higher than a set standard on the History Qualifying Test (HQT) and were subject to an evaluation of their performance in History 100. However, because the Senior elective does not require students to take the HQT, more students will be able to take the course. According to Peter Drench, Chair of the History and Social Sciences Department, the History department made the change in order to institute a uniform sequence. With the new Senior elective, Juniors will now take History 100, Lowers will take History 200 and Uppers will take History 300. In the past, Lowers that wanted to take History 340 would deviate from the normal History sequence, before rejoining the rest of their class for the Upper year U.S. history course, History 300. Drench said that the faculty liked the idea that all Lowers would take History 200 because “[it] gives our students pretty much a common foundation, which we felt was beneficial.” Drench said that the change was also partly prompted by the difference in instructors teaching History 340 and those teaching the new Senior elective. He said, “Every generation asks different questions of history, so the material is the same, but the way we look at it may be different.” In addition, the changes to History 340 were part of “the process of revamping all [the History] electives, and this happened to be the first decision we made.” The History department also felt Seniors would be more suited for the class because the additional two years of historical study would allow for a higher level of in-class discussion and debate. “Our hope is that we’ll still have talented students in [the class] and they will be really motivated. They will also be older, more accomplished, maybe a little wiser and that they’ll get more out of the course because they will be able to bring more to the course,” said Drench. Unlike History 340, the Senior elective is not yearlong. Thus, students will have greater freedom by choosing which terms they want to take. Marcelle Doheny, Instructor in History, will teach the first term and Mary Mulligan, Instructor in History, will take over the second and third terms. “I will teach the earlier stuff and I absolutely love it. I’m from England so I grew up doing European History and I’m very excited to get back to doing it,” said Doheny. “Ms. Mulligan and I are working on choosing the new material together, but we’re just beginning the process,” Doheny added. “We felt it would give could choose which terms people more flexibility that actually more people could take it if they wanted to and they would like to take… this will also give more people the opportunity to take it because it’s purely in the elective market,” said Doheny. Both teachers agreed that if student demand was sufficient, they could see this as a long-term alternative. However, the addition of this Senior elective does not necessarily rule out the possibility of adding History 340 back into the course of study. Drench said, “I suppose as a historian I should never say [History 340 will] never [return].” He added, “I think the student response [to the new elective] will be really positive. Not everyone will react the same way, that would be news, but I think people who will want to study modern European history will now have the chance to do it again.” The course will still cover material from the mid-15th century Renaissance, through the collapse of Communism in 1992. Fall term will cover from the 1450s to 1789, after the French Revolution. Winter term will focus from 1789 to 1914, the beginning of the First World War. During the Spring term, students will study the period from 1914 to 1992, and look at the rise of totalitarianism and its aftermath.