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Program Objectives- Undergraduate History Major

Listed below are the Program Objectives for the Undergraduate History Major at Montclair State University. They are divided into three categories: Critical Understandings about the nature of history and historical knowledge; Intellectual Skills necessary for and fostered by historical study; and Intellectual Dispositions characteristic of students seriously engaged in the study of history.

A. Critical Understandings:

  • Human Agency and Historical Contingency: History is the product of human agency and as a result is never inevitable or foreordained.
  • Causation and Complexity: Human agency is always the product of multiple causes and history as a result is inherently complex.
  • Change and Continuity: Historical time is characterized by constant change and lasting continuity.
  • Interpretive: Knowledge of human history is always interpretive.
  • Factual Basis: A basis in fact is a necessary condition of all historical knowledge.
  • Perspective: Individual perspective is a critical condition of historical knowledge.

B. Intellectual Skills:

  • Posing Historical Questions
  • Formulating Historical Hypotheses
  • Using Various Research Media
  • Using Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Evaluating Evidence
  • Citing Evidence
  • Distinguishing Fact and Opinion
  • Distinguishing Cause and Effect
  • Constructing Chronology and Sequencing Events
  • Communicating Conclusions in Various Written and Oral Formats

C. Intellectual Dispositions:

  • Healthy Sense of Skepticism
  • Purposeful Curiosity
  • Intellectual Persistence
  • Deliberativeness and Persistence
  • Enthusiasm and Sense of Joy in Learning