Reacting To The Past With Dr. Susanna Throop

Reacting To The Past
Students in The Tumultuous Reign of Henry VIII (History 150: Historical Investigations) this past semester were swept into the past when their classroom was transformed into sessions of England’s Reformation Parliament. With support from the Mellon Teaching and Learning Initiative at Ursinus, led by Dr. Meredith Goldsmith (Associate Professor of English and Assistant Dean), Dr. Susanna Throop, Assistant Professor of History, implemented a method of pedagogy called Reacting to the Past (RTTP), which was started in the 1990’s by Mark C. Carnes, a history professor from Barnard College. The method allowed each pupil to take on individualized, historically based roles, while Dr. Throop advised and guided them, as well as graded their oral and written work.

Class discussions became fiery and emotional as students really embodied their characters. The roles became personal and students clearly cared deeply about Parliament, with the result that Parliament debates and meetings spilled over outside the classroom, even in the dorms. Despite the competitive nature of Parliament, the intensity of the experience meant there was a lot of support for each other and the whole class bonded on their historical journey.

For more information on Reacting To The Past with Dr. Throop’s History 150, please click here.