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.
“History courses do, in fact, teach invaluable skills that can be employed in any number of fields in the workforce, but we as professors must do a better job of making this explicit to our students, to the community outside university walls, and even to ourselves when we are designing courses. One way we can do this is by identifying, modeling, and practicing these skills in the classroom, and by showing our students how the skills they are developing can be useful in the marketplace. The jigsaw technique is one of my favorite tools for setting up situations in which students can actively practice critical thinking skills.”
Read the full article here.