Tentative syllabus for my new course

Attached is tentative .pdf of the new course I will be teaching this coming schoolyear. I plan to use many DIYplanner forms and lots of online organizing sites to teach my second-year studens how to manage their time and their tasks. I will encourage them to go analog and teach them the basics of work planning and life hacking, as well as teach them Modern Québec history. Historical facts and historical documents will serve as cases to learn techniques and hacks. In short, I am planning a methodological and historiographical course in the guise of an ordinary historical seminar. How devious of me.

Let's be franck, they need it. In my experience, second-year students don't know how to plan and do research. They think Google is a data base. They don't know how to plan ahead and end up cramming at the last minute. A paper that should take three weeks of reasearch, they will attempt to do in three days, using the internet only. Note taking is a mystery to them, both in classes and while researching. One of the required books I intend for them to buy is a day planner.

It will be fun.

If you have ideas, feedback, whatever, feel free to comment. I'll put the final syllabus here when I'm done.

HIST 309 SYLLABUS.pdf113.56 KB
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looks great!

I think this is a great idea! I think it is really important to teach this to kids. For example, in 4th grade we learned how to do research papers. I cannot remember what the subject was but I remember that I learned how to used index cards, write an outline, rough drafts....etc.

the students are really lucky to have a teacher like you.

Second-year university students?

I'm not sure they will appreaciate it. At first anyway. These last few years, students seem to resent profs who make them work.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

Prob not at first I agree.

Prob not at first I agree. But they will down the road. I'm not a teacher but I am a parent and sometimes your kids (students) will resent you for making them work. But as you know :) you are not trying to be their friend, just teach them. Good luck!

Teachers that make you work....

....are typically the ones you remember and appreciate years later. I know I had a few "slave drivers" dating back to 3rd grade for me, and I loved, appreciated and respected every one of them, not necessarily when I was suffering under their hand, but always very shortly thereafter. It matters, I think, the teacher's attitude--the students know when you are doing it with their best interests at heart--which, from your posts, and knowing you, I believe to be true. Don't worry about the gripers. Do what you think best. We'll be cheering you on, at least. ;-)


I've also found that the

I've also found that the more I expect of students, the more they give me back. I asked for a lot of work. The hard part was keeping my expectations reasonable for the contents of their essays and projects. Keeping an eye on individual student progress can make you feel like you have an impact when you teach though.

Great ideas Tournevis!

Merci pour les docs! "It's

Merci pour les docs!

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

Great idea

I remember fondly my AP European History teacher because he made the course not only about history but also about how to write effectively. I found it more useful that most of my high school English classes.

(Do check the spelling on your syllabus though. I noticed "search" was misspelled.)


Don't worry. I know there are MANY typos. And errors. This is a very tentative version. I still need to assign readings and choose primary documents and design formative exercises. All very tentative.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs


"second-year students don't know how to plan and do research" with "99% of people don't know how to plan and do research" whether it's for writing a school paper, researching your best mortgage option, or planning a project at work.

SO true. "It's better to be

SO true.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs