Last year I got involved with an international community of digital humanities scholars who were invested in advocating for the humanities and promoting public humanities. Since the recession, budget cuts have resulted in a decline in university funding for humanities. How can we get government and private support for the humanities—research, teaching, preservation, and creative renewal in such fields as literature, history, languages, philosophy, classics, art history, cultural studies, libraries?
My article “Puzzling It Out: Teaching Marketable Skills in History Courses with the Jigsaw Technique” appeared in the November issue of Perspectives on History, the flagship publication of the American Historical Association for commentary on teaching, computers and software, and history in the media. The article describes specific examples of using the “jigsaw” — a small-group learning technique — to scaffold students’ experience naming and practicing the critical thinking skills the humanities so often claim to teach. Thinking about both content and skills in humanities courses can help us not only appreciate the beauty of human culture, but also improve the skills that are necessary for work outside the academy.