Dordt College is among a handful of member colleges nationwide in the "Reacting to the Past" Consortium led by Barnard College of Columbia University. Students in these courses participate in historical simulations based on actual events.
"It's easier to learn the material when it's important to me," said one student after a French Revolution simulation. "It was important because I was fighting for a cause."
These simulations encourage students to go beyond the dates and figures and look at the motives and worldviews behind these events.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has spotlighted the Dordt College history department's efforts in this area, featuring comments from History Professor Paul Fessler and student Nate Gibson.
While studying the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, students take a staff ride to battlefields in Wilson's Creek, Missouri, and Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Students experience history firsthand as they conduct extensive research and become an expert on one or two people in the battle. At the battlefields, they use this knowledge to analyze the motivations and implications of the events.
For more on the 2009 staff ride, see this front-page article in The Voice: In Their Footsteps: Civil War Staff Ride.
Mini Model Arab League
Dividing into teams representing key countries in the Middle East, students research their country's perspective on important issues such as nuclear weapons, foreign relations, and environmental concerns.
Mirroring the real Arab League, students write and debate resolutions in committee sessions. Then, the whole class meets to push through the legislation that would most benefit their chosen country.
A variety of study-abroad programs allow you to experience life and culture in Russia, Egypt, Latin America, Europe, and other places.
For a complete listing of semester abroad opportunities, check out our Off-Campus Programs.