Journal article

Making the Foreign Past Real: Teaching and Assessing Middle Eastern History in Australia

Richard Pennell

REVIEW OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2017

Abstract

Teaching modern Middle East history at the University of Melbourne raises problems of culture. Students are not generally acquainted with the Middle East and North Africa—even those whose families originate there—news coverage is patchy, and Australia is far away. Not all students are even arts students let alone history majors: our degree structure requires interdisciplinary study. The University is liberal about how to assess students, only requiring that during a twelve-week semester subject a student must write 4000 words. Within broad bounds, how teachers do this is up to them, although the Arts Faculty has a culture of avoiding unseen examinations. History major students are very accus..

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