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

Book review editor for History News Network.  Over 70 of my reviews have been published there.

Recent publications include...

“Making Brown’s ‘New Curriculum’ in 1969:  The Importance of Context and Contingency” in Rhode Island History, Vol. 72, No. 2 (Summer-Fall 2016), pp. 52-71.

“Academic Freedom and Tenure in the United States” in Oxford Bibliographies in Education.  Luanna Meyer, ed.  New York:  Oxford University Press.  Posted September 28, 2016.

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