History class distinguished as College Board's Best Practices Course

October 10 2006

College Board has designated Indiana State University's "Studies in World Civilization to 1500" class as one of the top examples of best practices in a national survey of world history courses.

The study was conducted by the Center for Educational Policy Research on behalf of the College Board, a not-for-profit association whose best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT, and the Advanced Placement Program (AP).

According to College Board and the Center for Educational Policy Research, this course, along with others chosen as Best Practices Courses, will help College Board develop new Advanced Placement classes for world history. By identifying the most effective components of the classes, College Board will create guidelines for Advanced Placement courses to reflect the best of college teaching.

Steven Stofferahn, an assistant professor of history at ISU who teaches the course, described it as a "broad survey of human civilization as it took shape in various parts of the globe from the time of the Neolithic Revolution to around 1500 A.D."

"We're talking about a vast span of time, almost 10,000 years," Stofferahn said. "This, of course, presents a challenge, but it can also be lots of fun since it allows the class to look at so many different cultures."

Though Stofferahn's course covers a large amount of material, he still tries to bring in creative teaching styles to make the information interesting.

"I try to mix things up enough to prevent the onset of boredom, in either the students or myself," he said. "So my course usually features a combination of lectures, discussions, group presentations and films, each of which has clear benefits."

In addition, Stofferahn's course received further review that resulted in specific elements of this course being designated as "exemplary."

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CONTACT: Steven Stofferahn, Indiana State University, assistant professor of history, (812) 237-2721, stofferahn@indstate.edu

WRITER: Megan Anderson, media relations, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790, kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

College Board has designated Indiana State University's "Studies in World Civilization to 1500" class, taught by Steven Stofferahn, as one of the top examples of best practices in a national survey of world history courses. It will be used to help develop new Advanced Placement classes for world history.

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