Using Structured Debate to Achieve Autonomous Student Discussion*

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I enjoyed one of the most satisfying moments in my budding teaching career. I watched my classroom of twenty undergraduates conduct a seventy-five minute, critical discussion of primary sources—and I never said a word. This, I thought, was one of those magical moments for which I had always hoped: the day I would make myself virtually redundant as a participant in class discussion because I had given my students the tools to carry on the conversation without me. In this paper, I describe a technique I have used to repeat this autonomous student discussion. Essentially, the technique involves setting up highly structured debates, whose content is informed by coherent sets of primary sources and whose form models one aspect of how professional historians work.

Many students—whether history majors or not—have experienced history primarily as a lulling narrative rather than as an excitingly contested field. (As one of my political science colleagues likes to joke, the most interesting theoretical questions some historians ask is, “So then what happened?”) If my course is the only course a student will ever take in history—and it often is—I want them to have experienced deeply the fact that history is made, not revealed. Pedagogically, then, the best way to accomplish this is to have students make history themselves.

History teachers have devised many methods for getting students to make history, from the traditional research paper to historical reenactment. The technique I describe here requires students to read about twenty to twenty-five pages of primary documents whose authors disagree on an important question (such as whether appeasement invited or delayed the Second World War) and then debate with each other which interpretation the documents best support. This teaching tool has a number of advantages. First, whereas in the open-ended research paper a student might immerse himself more fully in other scholars’ interpretations of history, these debates force the student to focus on primary sources (also consulting, of course, the required secondary literature). This gives students direct experience with making history out of its raw materials.

Second, by independently discussing interpretations with other class members, students come to see themselves as co-producers of a historical knowledge that is never final—in other words, a process that always needs their input, whether or not they become professional historians themselves. When assigned a traditional research paper, students typically think of the professor as their only audience, and—because they need to develop a coherent thesis—hope they manage to hit on the “right” argument. By contrast, debates emphasize the open-ended quality of historical scholarship and the importance of discussion with colleagues in formulating more sophisticated understandings of history. While I still believe the traditional research paper models many other important features of historical work, debates make clear that our discipline requires collaboration as much as isolated humanism.

I have incorporated these formalized debates in both my British History since 1688 and Early Modern Europe courses, but they would work well in any course for which there are substantial and readily available sources. In fact, the technique would work in a variety of disciplines besides history. It could be used to test competing interpretations of a literary or artistic work; treaties, constitutions, or laws; scientific experiments; data sets; or artifacts from an archeological dig. Instructors can adapt this debate format to any course in which the instructor wants to achieve some informed, student-directed analysis of rival theories or interpretations.


I first developed the idea to organize these debates after deciding to use Walter Arnstein’s The Past Speaks: Sources and Problems in British History in my modern British history survey. Arnstein has organized each chapter in this volume around polarized questions like “Preindustrial England: a rural Eden or a poor and troubled society?” and “The proper solution for Ireland: conciliation or separation?”[1] I selected eight chapters as readings for the semester’s eight debates (I later reduced the number of debates to six; see the Challenges section below), and used versions of each chapter’s title question as the debates’ central questions.

With more work, I was able to devise a set of questions and readings for a different course—Early Modern Europe—for which no Arnstein-like anthology exists. For this task, Paul Halsall’s online collection of primary sources proved a tremendously helpful resource ( Working with online sources required minimal management and saved the students some book money. However, it is necessary to check links periodically to make sure they still work, and to remind students to print out copies of the texts so that they can mark them and refer to them during the debate. Though the debates focus on the analysis of primary sources, I also stress to students the importance of using the secondary sources that we have read to contextualize and support their interpretations.


In each course where I use this debate technique, I schedule six debates. Each student in the course participates in two debates as an antagonist, two as a questioner or conciliator (they can be a questioner twice, a conciliator twice, or a questioner once and conciliator once), and in two as an author of a debating point. At the beginning of the semester, I post a sign-up sheet on my office door, and give students two weeks to select their roles. I then transcribe the debate schedule to my online syllabus, but the schedule could also be distributed in class. I only allow students to change their places in the schedule in case of an emergency.

Having a class majordomo list is a virtual necessity for this style of debate, as it is the most practical way for students to pre-circulate their debating points (explained below). If you make your majordomo list unmoderated and require students to sign up for the list themselves, you need not put any work into administering the list beyond setting it up. For institutions where students have less computer access, the debating point part of the assignment could be eliminated. I require students to visit me in my office hours before their first debate as a major participant (antagonist, questioner, or conciliator). I have found that this decreases the likelihood that students will prepare insufficiently or improperly.

Students each create a paper “nameplate” bearing their first name that they must place in front of them during the debates. This helps the students refer to each other by name. By turning the nameplate up on its end, students can signal that they wish to make a point if they are otherwise having difficulty breaking into the conversation. The instructor—or, preferably, an attentive student—can then help these students jump in.

During the debate, I take copious notes on what individual students say, how intelligibly they make their points, whether they refer to particular material from the texts, whether they show leadership in the discussion, and so on. As each student speaks, I write their initials on the left side of the page, and on the right summarize the content and form of their contribution. I also note when questioners allow a dead-end conversation or silence to go on too long, whether a student has been particularly helpful or rude, if one of the students who is not a major player in the debate is not paying attention to the debate, and so on. In other words, I keep as careful an accounting of the climate of the debate as I do of its content. I refer to these notes later when providing each major participant with feedback on their performance.


The basic format of these debates runs as follows. Early in the semester, students sign up to take on various roles in each debate. To prepare for a debate, all students in the class read a set of primary sources that address a common question. For example, in British History, we consider questions like, “The French Revolution’s impact on England: threat or promise?” Most students in the class have selected one of the two sides of this debate (e.g., threat), so they read the texts carefully for evidence to support their position. About four to six students have signed up to act as antagonists; that is, they take on the major role of arguing one of the two sides (two or three students on one side and two or three on the other). Up to three questioners keep the debate lively and challenging by asking questions of the other debaters. Another two or three conciliators step in about two-thirds of the way through the debate to offer alternative or conciliatory positions to the two original, extreme positions. The remaining students in the class (each also signed up in advance to help defend one of the two sides of the debate) have prepared a brief paragraph or two, or debating point, in which they outline an argument for their side’s antagonists to employ. This remaining group of students (the authors of the debating points) is encouraged to participate in the debate as well, particularly to assist the antagonists on their side.

Given that general outline, let me describe the mechanics of the debate in more detail. First, I will describe each of the roles, and then outline the schedule I use on debate days.

Antagonists. Antagonists shoulder most of the burden in these debates, as they are responsible for arguing and defending one of the two pre-set positions. Each antagonist arrives at the debate with a one-page position paper that outlines one or two major arguments for their side, using primary and some secondary source evidence as support. In the debate itself, antagonists do not have to limit themselves to the one or two arguments from their position paper, but they should use these arguments as a base-line from which to approach the larger position their side represents. For instance, in the British history debate on whether Victorian women had reached a zenith or nadir, an antagonist who signed up to defend the nadir position might argue that women’s poor economic status constitutes the best argument for that position. Another antagonist on that side might argue that the main issue was women’s lack of political and legal rights.

For example, consider this strongly worded position paper for a debate on whether the best solution for Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century was conciliation with or separation from Great Britain. This antagonist supported the separation position:

The separation of Ireland from Great Britain was needed to ensure the independent and united voice of Ireland was heard by a legitimate democratic legislature and because it was harmful to the future of the British Empire to force a large segment of its population to actively hope for England’s demise.
Separation for Ireland was needed because the people of Ireland had no government in which they had a legitimate voice. Isaac Butt claims constitutional government is government by an assembly “of the people, so as to bring the government of the country into harmony with the feeling, the wants, and the wishes of the people” (Arnstein 246). He also claims that “Ireland is deprived of that constitutional government which is its inherent right” (247). The Union of the two nations created a situation where the desires and needs of one nation of peoples was ignored and its rights trampled on. The Irish people are a sovereign entity which has been failed by Great Britain and Ireland has not been blended with England and Scotland (247). The Irish people share a common history, language, for the most part religion and a shared identity that is the very definition of a modern nation which must possess the rights of self-determination. In the words of William Gladstone: “It is sometimes requisite not only that good laws should be passed, but also that they should be passed by the proper persons” (253).
Separation from Ireland would also be beneficial to England and Scotland. When the two nations are combined, it becomes the national pastime of Ireland to hope for the demise of England. The people of Ireland possess “a dull, ever-abiding animosity against” Great Britain, and they “grieve when she prospers, and joy when she is hurt” (248). No state can hope for full prosperity while such a segment of its population is dedicated to see the state fail. Ireland has the effect of weakening “generally the respect for law, and the respect for contract” that must soon spread to all the peoples of the Empire (251). When the law is ignored and subverted by a large group, it necessarily loses much of its ability to maintain order within the rest of society.
This student received high marks for clarity, frequent and adept reference to the primary sources, and a novel argument about the benefits of separation from Ireland for British imperialism. I also pointed out to the student, however, that he could have strengthened his argument in the first paragraph by acknowledging that the Irish had some representation in the British Parliament, and then explaining why that was inadequate.

The antagonists are not required to work as teams. The antagonists on one side do not have to come up with a common position, nor do they have to consult with each other ahead of time—though they are encouraged to do so. However, I expect students to assist each other in the debate whenever possible. I admonish antagonists in particular to remember to use their sources in the debate. Students who make frequent and specific references to the texts—for example, by reading passages aloud and then interpreting them—tend to receive the highest grades. This, of course, requires the students to read and mark these texts very carefully ahead of time so that they can reference particular material quickly during the debate. I also stress that a silence that arises because antagonists are looking through their texts is far preferable to a shouting match that makes no reference to specific material from the readings.

Not only do I encourage antagonists to model good habits of citing specific evidence, but I also ask them to model cooperative discussion. The best grades go to students who listen carefully to their classmates, respond directly to others’ points, and draw other students into the discussion. It is not unusual for an antagonist to become uncomfortable with her position during, or even at the beginning of, a debate. To handle this issue, I remind the class regularly that each participant in the debate is simply playing a role. The debaters do not necessarily believe in what they argue; they simply must defend their arguments as carefully and diligently as possible.

Questioners. Questioners and conciliators participate a little less in the debate, but their roles are still very important. The questioners keep the debate moving, and challenge the antagonists and conciliators to dig more deeply into their positions and sources. Questioners should step in at moments when a line of argument has run its course—because conversation has either died down or become redundant—or when another debater has expressed something that could use more clarification or exploration. Questioners prepare for their role by reading the texts carefully and developing several general but pointed questions in advance. However, they also must think on their feet during the debate and ask questions based on what debaters actually argue in class. Their questions should also make reference to particular passages from the texts, and should provoke genuine discussion rather than invite a quick answer.

For example, in a British History debate about whether appeasement delayed or invited the Second World War, one questioner began the debate by quoting a 1938 private memorandum in which Hitler expressed his utter determination to attack Czechoslovakia. The student then asked how much Great Britain could have done to stop German aggression, even if it intended to avoid another world war. I gave the student high marks for asking a provocative question that both grounded itself in specific material from the documents and invited real debate from both sets of antagonists.

Conciliators. Most of the questions that frame these debates outline ridiculously extreme positions. For example, in my Early Modern Europe course, one of the debate questions is “The Renaissance: cynical or idealistic about human potential?” Of course, neither extreme position ultimately holds much water. The conciliators therefore play a crucial role in the debate, because they devise compromise or alternative positions that have the kind of subtlety historians hope to achieve after due consideration of the evidence.

As all the other major participants must do, conciliators must prepare some remarks in advance, adjust those remarks to respond intelligently to arguments made within the debate itself, and make frequent reference to specific material in the texts. About two-thirds of the way through the debate, a moderator (I act in this role in my classes) invites the conciliators to give their remarks. Each conciliator speaks for about five minutes from a prepared outline that they have adjusted in response to the debaters’ comments.

Conciliators have a range of possibilities open to them as they frame their remarks, so long as they offer a nuanced compromise or alternative solution to the major problem in the debate. They might suggest, for instance, that the antagonists do not really disagree on certain key points. Or, they might argue that one or more of the antagonists are misreading the texts or exaggerating their position beyond what the evidence can support. Or, they might argue that there is another position or possibility that the antagonists have not explored. Or, they might argue that the evidence is inconclusive for either of the antagonists’ positions. For example, in the Ireland debate described above, one conciliator argued that in the short term, strong economic ties to Britain would benefit Ireland more than harm it. However, he continued, for reasons of political justice the long-term nationalist and democratic goals of Irish separatists had to prevail.

Debating Points. Those students not signed up for a major role in the debate still have a crucial part to play. Depending on the course’s meeting time, I require that the day before, or morning of, the debate, these remaining students pre-circulate a debating point via the class major-domo list. A debating point is a one- to two-paragraph argument for whichever position the student signed up to defend. Debating points should reflect careful reading of and thinking about the sources, rather than an argument that would be obvious to someone who had read the texts quickly. Debating points should also, in most cases, synthesize material from multiple documents. For example, one particularly adept first-year student in British History wrote the following debating point in support of the position that religion in eighteenth-century England was primarily based in reason rather than revelation:

While all of the authors argue different viewpoints, each shows that in some way or another, reason underpinned religion in England. The Earl of Chesterfield based many of his suggestions to his son on reason and rationality. He suggests that his son learn about all different religions, but not necessarily to ascribe to their beliefs (Arnstein 78). One of his main recommendations is that his son “use and assert [his] own reason,” which “will prove the least erring guide that [he] can follow” (81). He goes so far as to say that “God has given [reason] to direct us” (81), not religious revelation. Paley uses the idea of reason in religion even more than Chesterfield. He basically writes an outline of reasons why the religious establishment (the Church of England) is the way it is. His primary goal in this passage is to “show the separate utility of [the] three parts” of the structure of the Church (82). He believes Christianity to be “founded in facts” and that the “authority…of a church establishment is founded in its utility” (82); therefore the church’s existence can only be justified by reasoning. Johnson believes that decisions in matters of religion (or religious toleration) should rest solely on the reasoning and judgment of the magistrate.
Chesterfield, Paley, and Johnson all seem to hold reason above revelation in terms of religion. But even John Wesley, who appears to hold religious revelation above reason, still uses reason and logic to explain his views. And although he speaks of pure faith and things “unseen by reason’s glimmering ray” (89), he believes that his advice to his listeners is adapted from the scriptures and therefore “grounded on the plainest reason” (88). Because this advice was based on reason, he “presumed there could be no objection” (88). So here, even Wesley relies on the use of reason to espouse his religious beliefs.
In this selection of primary source documents, we are able to be exposed to the viewpoints of people with a range in views as well as status—from an earl to an anonymous clergyman. All of the authors, no matter what their standpoint or status, made use of reason either in their own beliefs or to explain and espouse their views on religion to others. In either situation, the use of reason largely influenced the course of religion in eighteenth-century England.
This student did especially well with clearly outlining an argument, synthesizing multiple documents, developing an unconventional reading of a text (Wesley’s) that appeared to support the opposite position, recognizing the importance of an author’s status to the meaning of his text, and citing sources. I encourage students who have written debating points to join the conversation (and antagonists to invite their aid), just as long as these students do not monopolize time needed by the major debate participants. I reward debating point authors who make valuable contributions to the discussion with a boost to their grade.

Debate Schedule. One of the keys to these debates’ success is their structured schedule. I should note here that these debates only work well in a class that lasts at least an hour. While I have made them work in a course that meets for 50 minutes at a time, the debates tend to feel rushed in that short a time period. The debate schedule is as follows:
Right before class begins: Antagonists distribute their copies of their position papers.
The instructor says a few words to introduce the debate.
Each antagonist on one side, then each antagonist on the other, reads or verbally summarizes his or her position paper (no more than two minutes each).
One of the questioners begins the discussion with a question that invites response from antagonists on both sides.
Antagonists begin debating each other. Questioners step in whenever appropriate or necessary. At this point, the rest of the class is welcome to contribute comments (including their debating points) and questions.
About two-thirds of the way through the class period, the instructor stops the debate to ask each conciliator to suggest their compromises and/or alternative solutions. Conciliators can step into the debate well before this, but the debate stops formally at this point to request their perspective.
Debate continues to the end of class with the conciliators continuing to argue for compromises and/or alternatives. Again, the whole class is welcome to participate.
At the beginning of the next class, the instructor provides some general feedback on the debate. Individualized feedback and grades go out to students by e-mail.


The following criteria are used to assess all students’ performances in the debate, regardless of their role: has the student made frequent reference to specific source material; has the student shown a depth of understanding of the primary sources; has the student demonstrated an ability to use required secondary material to support interpretations; has the student shown clarity of oral and/or written argument; has the student shown an ability to listen carefully and respond cogently to other students’ points; and (finally) has the student demonstrated a desire to achieve understanding of the materials and to collaborate with student colleagues rather than simply to “win.” Particularly high marks go to students who successfully support unconventional interpretations of the texts. There are, of course, some differences in assessing different roles. Antagonists’ position papers contribute to their grade. Questioners need to listen carefully to the debate in order to decide when a question from them would move the debate in a more productive direction. Conciliators must offer a real compromise or alternative position rather than simply claiming that both sets of antagonists “made good points.”

Student work on these debates constitutes forty-five percent of their course grade. Their first performance as antagonist counts for ten percent, their second performance for fifteen. The first try at questioner or conciliator counts for five percent, the second for ten. Debating points each count for two and one half percent of the final grade. Most of the rest of the course grade comes from short, written primary source analyses of other documents. This gives students further practice at interpreting documents both on paper and in our regular class discussions.


Students often have trouble developing their own interpretations of primary sources, works of art, artifacts, experiments, and so on. The debate technique I have described allows students to “try on” a pre-set interpretive framework, and test it against the evidence and against alternative explanations. By adopting an analytical persona that is not necessarily their own, students feel freer to take risks. Furthermore, as the antagonists take their extreme positions to their logical conclusions, students (including the antagonists themselves) begin to see how untenable those extremities are, particularly as the questioners keep challenging the positions and playing them off against each other. Finally, the conciliators step in to offer the relief of more sensible positions. This leaves the students with the sense that they can work beyond their initial responses to a text toward a more nuanced and well-supported position. That they do this cooperatively rather than individually builds a classroom camaraderie and the sense that learning is a collective endeavor. These results appear most obviously in the primary source analyses that my students write throughout the semester about different sets of documents. My students have occasionally cited their fellow students’ interpretations of texts, thus demonstrating their understanding of history as a collective endeavor that involves them. In these analyses, students also show greater willingness to entertain and evaluate multiple interpretations of a text as the semester progresses.

I also have been very pleased with these debates’ effect on students’ willingness to argue constructively with each other. Many students dislike arguing with their peers in the classroom. This can cause problems in class discussions because it typically leaves to the instructor the role of challenging students’ views. Students frequently perceive these challenges as “corrections,” and then shut down. By contrast, it fascinates and thrills me to watch students in these debates—with little to no prodding from me—praise each others’ acute analysis, respectfully correct each others’ misreadings, and admonish the occasional fellow student who acts like a bully. Students subsequently become bolder in their own theses and their critiques of other authors’ arguments in their writing and in regular class discussion.

These debates also put into practice the educational research on variations in learning styles.[2] Some students learn to analyze a text best through writing about it, while others best achieve understanding orally. The debates thus complement the written assignments in my course in two ways. First, they provide those students who have more developed oral than written skills with an assignment through which they can achieve a confident grasp of the course material. I have had several students with poor writing skills improve their performance in my class because their facility with reading comes out more clearly when they are speaking. Conversely, students who write well but are less confident speakers discover and are able to work on a much-neglected skill. Second, the debates encourage all students to develop multiple ways of thinking critically. Oral persuasion and activism matters greatly outside the classroom, and yet we college faculty give students surprisingly little structured guidance in this area. We typically expect students simply to know how to discuss material orally, while we spend far more time coaching students in their writing. Neither comes naturally.

My students consistently evaluate these debates positively. For example, all but one of the students in my most recent British History course agreed or strongly agreed that the debates were the best part of the course. Many students remarked that the debate format helped them think through the course readings more carefully. One student said that “I had a tendency to simply comprehend the material [when I read it alone], whereas the debates helped me understand where the authors were coming from and to listen to how my fellow students interpreted the texts differently.” Another wrote that the debates were “actually better than normal discussion” for a similar reason.

Students also reported that the debates helped them to understand that history is highly contested. Wrote one: “Many times I thought the debates would be completely one-sided, but I was very impressed with the arguments that both sides were able to come up with.” Another responded with a note that could warm the soul of the most jaded history teacher: “I will forever approach history textbooks with scrutiny rather than blind faith that the texts are true.”

Many students considered important the empowerment and development of their speaking skills that the format offered. One advised that I should “continue the debates, [because] students were encouraged to critically discuss the material.” On the other hand, one student preferred “a standard lecture format” to the debates and discussion that we had in class, and a few students reported that the debates had not improved their speaking skills. For instance, one student reported frustration with being paired up with a more outspoken fellow antagonist who took more than his fair share of the floor.


As the last remark suggests, this style of classroom conversation comes with its own challenges. Above all, students need to understand that the ultimate point of the debate is understanding, not competition. I make it clear to students that there will be no “winners” in these debates, though certainly some students will be more persuasive than others. The students who earn the highest grades on this assignment make careful, considered, well-documented arguments; listen carefully to others’ points; and keep the other debaters talking as well. Depending on the student profile, instructors may need to make these points rather forcefully and frequently. Students who have participated in debate competitions in particular tend to need instruction about how this style of debate differs from their previous experience.

Faculty across the curriculum who seek to achieve feminist and multicultural classrooms might wonder whether the agonistic nature of the debate structure would tend to benefit already privileged students. A mismanaged debate certainly could reinforce already existing social disparities by rewarding those students who are accustomed to answering quickly and with authority—that is, mainly those students who are white, male and socioeconomically privileged. However, several features of this format lend themselves readily to feminist and multicultural pedagogical styles. For one thing, as described above, I write my instructions for this assignment in a way that encourages cooperative conversation geared toward increased understanding, and discourages purely competitive styles of conversation that ignore the importance of listening, of subtlety, and concern for the collective educational good. I also use my minimal role as moderator occasionally to help shyer students enter the discussion. Finally, I privately encourage older and more confident students in the class to provide ways for their quieter classmates to contribute to the debate.

In addition, somewhat paradoxically, the formal structure of these debates helps to promote inclusion of more students in the discussion. In free-form discussion, confident students tend to dominate, and that confidence frequently derives as much from privilege as it does from ability. By contrast, when students know that they have a particular role to play in a discussion, and that other students are counting on them to fulfill that role, more of them tend to participate. What delights me most as a feminist pedagogue, however, is watching students stretch their intellectual wings within the space left by my not talking in class. When students realize (usually about midway through the first debate) that I really am not going to interfere at all with the course of the discussion, various students step into leadership positions. I have watched some of the brighter students at the end of the class spontaneously sum up a debate’s major points and point out important issues that did not get raised. Others watch out for quieter students, creating spaces for them to speak by (politely) interrupting the more frequent participants. Still others audition wacky ideas they hesitated to raise during regular class discussion. Within this heady atmosphere of student autonomy, the debate format provides a residual exoskeleton of structure that keeps students from feeling lost.

Another potential challenge with this technique is class size, since I designed the debates for use in a small class (no more than 20 students). Still, they could be adapted for a larger class size. For instance, debates could be scheduled for discussion sections and moderated by teaching assistants. Alternatively, they could be scheduled during a regular class; the debating point assignment could be eliminated, and students not participating directly could instead write an assessment of how the debate helped them to understand the primary sources more fully. In classes larger than thirty-five to forty students, the instructor would need to increase the number of debates and/or reduce the number of times that each student had to participate as an antagonist, questioner, and conciliator. Otherwise, there would not be sufficient opportunity for students to play these roles.

A final challenge worth discussing here is that of time. The development, maintenance, and grading of these debates requires a significant time investment by the instructor. For instance, I usually need about four hours per debate to send e-mail feedback to a class of twenty students. In addition, having at least one individual meeting with each student per semester requires significant time (though many did not ever schedule a meeting). However, the structure also compensates somewhat by saving time elsewhere. My preparation for the debates consists solely of reading the primary sources. Also, because the debates count for so much of the course grade, this reduces the number of additional graded assignments that are needed. That said, the fact still remains that this debate format would be difficult to handle in anything but a small class or one in which the instructor had assistance with grading.


Good historical pedagogy means having students take more responsible control over their own learning. One way to do this is to turn over classroom discussion entirely to students. In my experience, once students realize you really mean to entrust leadership to them, even if temporarily, they tend to rise to the challenge. However, the instructor also needs to provide enough structure in advance so that students do not feel rudderless. The debate format I have outlined here provides one such way to combine substantive structure with student inclusivity and independence. Further details about this assignment can be found in my online syllabi: British History since 1688 ( and Early Modern Europe (


* For their assistance with this paper, the author thanks Nancy Quam-Wickham, three reviewers, Jack Green Musselman, and her students at Southwestern University, especially Brien Casey and Bailey Kinkel for permission to quote from their work in British history.

1 Walter Arnstein, The Past Speaks: Sources and Problems in British History, vol. 2: Since 1688. 2nd ed. (Lexington, Mass., and Toronto: D.C. Heath, 1993).

2 Adrianna Kezar, “Theory of Multiple Intelligences: Implications for Higher Education,” Innovative Higher Education 26 (2001): 141–154.