The Pros and Cons of USHRS

Posted on October 17, 2012 by


Coming into my junior year, I didn’t know what to expect from USHRS. I had chosen the class because I think US history is interesting (some of it at least) and I was told that if I didn’t like to read, then I should not go to APUSH. I think that I made the right decision. For sophomore year, I took Medieval World and Age of Reason history classes, which I’m told are similar to APUSH, so it’s great that I have gotten a sample of what both classes are like.

One of only drawbacks in a research-based class that I can see is that we won’t necessarily learn something the way others might view as “correct”. We as students are learning to use the resources we have been given to find our own answers from many different sources—from books, to the Internet, to other people. It is likely that in the future some of us will come across a professor who disagrees with what we’ve learned, but that is OK. Times have changed, and we now know more regarding history.

In USHRS, we often work in groups on our projects. Sometimes, this is great and incredibly helpful! It’s a huge benefit to know that the completion and strength of the project isn’t in your hands. However, there are always groups that will not work well together. In a way, being in a flawed group can be a great benefit because it helps one personally to work hard and do their best to help the group succeed. Everyone in their future will come across people that are not easy to work with, and it is important to be prepared for that.

It’s great that USHRS is a project-based class because in a way, the students are the ones teaching themselves. Our teacher isn’t there to teach us about what specifically happened during World War II, or tell us what it means to be an American. Instead, he teaches us how to find the answers for ourselves and is there as a resource and to partner. Although we are only in the second month of school, I am so far very content with my history class. I’m sure that in the upcoming months, I’ll get tired of so much research but at the end of the year, I feel confident that I will have improved in my researching and presenting abilities.



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