This course outline is the culmination of many years of teaching
United States History and American Indian History and the revolutionary changes brought about
by the shortage of teachers in the state of California. In 1999 California State University,
Long Beach began a program known as the Integrated Teachers Education Program. Freshman students
who were interested in the teaching profession and had a GPA of 3.0 were allowed to enroll in this
program, known as ITEP. ITEP is a five-year lock step program that awards a BA degree and a teaching
certificate, and includes the required classroom teaching experience. This is a very difficult program
and requires that the students take 18 units each semester and attend two full summer sessions.
One of the big challenges was how to include the large number of classes required for both the BA and
the Certificate in such a short period of time. The answer was to combine a number of courses that
had previously been taught separately without losing course content and material. I was asked to
combine two courses, Early United States History and Early American Indian History into one 15-week course.
Having taught both courses a number of times I welcomed this challenge and saw it as an opportunity to "correct"
history. That is to say, I could teach Early United States History and include Native American people
throughout the entire period -- up through the Civil War. The challenge of course was how to do this
in such a short period of time. As you will see below it was a challenge, but one well worth the effort.
The students used two primary textbooks and supplemental readings just as they would have done had
they taken the courses separately. The results have been rewarding beyond my expectation and the
student comments both in class and on student evaluations were laudatory. I strongly recommend that
you consider this format.
Typically class enrollment for this course is limited to forty students although there has been an increasing
demand for the course from students who are not formally part of the ITEP program. As a result additional
sections of the course are now being scheduled beginning with the fall 2001 semester. This is a difficult
course to teach to a large class because of the intensive schedule. The course consists of lecture,
discussion, and small group work, the ratio being about 60% lecture, 20% discussion, and 20% group work.
I have studied pedagogy for large class management but enrollment beyond 40 students becomes very problematic.
A last comment on course content. Because of the richness of material in standard U.S. survey textbooks and
American Indian History the question arises regarding adequate coverage of critical historical events
and how choices can be made when it becomes obvious that one cannot cover everything in both books in one
semester. I have attempted to "cram" everything from both fields of study into one semester but have
still found that at the end of the semester I have not been able to do it all. What I have done is to go
back to the course objectives and streamlined my lectures to insure that I am providing the coverage necessary
to meet these objectives. Another approach would be to go back to the objectives and see if the objectives
themselves need to be modified. The course objectives are not set in concrete and can be changed if the
individual professor finds that more emphasis should be given to one area and perhaps less in another.