Integrating Disciplinary Perspectives into Higher Education Research: The Example of History

Book by L. Eisenmann. 7-22 Pages

Status: In

This article uses the discipline of history to explore these questions. While not a teeming group, historians of higher education have employed their disciplinary lens to advance several lines of significant postsecondary inquiry (for example, issues of access, social mobility, professionalism, gender, and regionalism). This article first traces historians' early contributions to higher education, noting that most considered themselves scholars of history who happened to find higher education a fruitful spot for their investigations. Over time, a cadre of educational historians developed, scholars who focus intentionally on higher education; the next section explores their growing contributions. But this latter group faces its own methodological challenge: how to balance between generating research that is guided by the insights and problems of history versus allowing contemporary educational puzzles about students, leadership, organization, or markets to determine their research agenda. Recognizing this as a difficult choice for any disciplinary scholar, this article encourages historians to consider the value of the second approach, suggesting that it offers strong potential for strengthening higher education research