History 50: Historical Process: Politics, Media, and Race
M/W 12:00 to 1:15 pm – DMH 165
Iris M. Jerke
Office: DMH 321
Phone: (408) 924-5507
(Please write in subject line: Hist50)
1:30 to 5:30 pm on 2/22; 3/8; 3/22; 4/12; 4/26; 5/10
or by appointment
This course will improve your reasoning and writing skills, while it is designed to strengthen your analytical skills.
Material dealing with global economic imperialism and its multicultural past and present will help us to recognize
components of arguments, use inductive and deductive reasoning, and be able to detect historian fallacies.
Lecture, in-class discussions and exercises will largely be based on assigned readings along with videos, primary
documents, and newspaper materials.
Lectures and discussions are meant to facilitate the material, you as student,
however, have the responsibility to finish the assigned readings and exercises before class.
Objectives of this class as a core GE A-3 course are as follows:
Students should be able to distinguish between reasoning (e.g. explanation, argument) and other types of discourse
(e.g. description, assertion).
Students should be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate different types of reasoning (deductive and inductive).
Students should be able to find and state crucial unstated assumptions in reasoning.
Students should be able to evaluate factual claims or statements used in reasoning and evaluate the sources of
evidence for such claims.
Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism.
Students should be able to evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his
or her knowledge base and value system.
Students should be able to locate, retrieve, organize, analyze, synthesize, and communicate information of relevance
to the subject matter of the course in an effective and efficient manner.
Students should be able to reflect on past successes, failures and alternative strategies.
In regard to objective five, as a history course, the subject matter of the Historical Process is the marvelous diverse human
past and historians’ efforts to better understand this past through the application of critical thinking skills as they assess
the artifacts and documents our ancestors left behind.
Central to the Historical Process course is the DEVELOPMENT and APPLICATION of critical thinking techniques in
speaking and writing.
Thus, a portion of the class grade will be based on knowledge of different types of reasoning and
the fallacies that mislead us, emphasis also will be placed on evidence of student ability to apply critical thinking
techniques in speech (class discussion and student presentations) and writing (essays and research papers).
Student grades will be determined by the following: