Luther Spoehr Senior Lecturer in Education

My main activities at Brown involve teaching about the history of American higher education and the history of American school reform. My First-Year Seminar, "Campus on Fire," looks at American colleges and universities in the 1960s. Other courses include a survey of the history of American higher education, the history of intercollegiate athletics, and the history of academic freedom. I also do work on best practices in the teaching of history and frequently consult with schools and school systems that want to improve their history teaching.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

"Where Do Principals Come From?" in Boston University Journal of Education, Vol. 184, No. 1 (Spring 2004).

Book reviews on US history for the Providence Journal (1997-Present)

Doing the DBQ: Teaching and Learning with the Document-Based Question on the Advanced Placement US History Examination (co-authored with Alan Fraker; published by The College Board, 1995)

"Learning to Think Historically" (co-authored with Kathryn T. Spoehr; Educational Psychologist, Spring 1994).

"A First Rough Draft of History" (co-edited with Alan Fraker; Newsweek Educational Program, 1994)

research overview

Professor Spoehr does research in the history of American higher education, school reform, and teaching history.

research statement

Areas of Specialization: History of American Higher Education, School Reform, Teaching History.

Description of Research and Teaching Interests: In my work on the history of education, I focus primarily on the history of American school reform in the 20th century and the changing definitions of academic freedom in the history of higher education. I also work extensively on issues involved in teaching history: how to use primary sources to help students learn to "think historically;" setting up performance-based, "authentic" assessment in standards-based curricula; developing interdisciplinary approaches; and taking advantage of new classroom technologies.

Teaching US History, History of Higher Education, History of American School Reform

funded research