General education courses at Missouri State University bring students together from a variety of major and career interests.
“The biggest challenge I have,” said Peter Tsahiridis, per-course history instructor at Missouri State, “is how do I get people from different majors to appreciate history?” To engage with students’ unique interests and needs, Tsahiridis wrote a textbook titled “United States History to 1877: Events that Motivated the American People.”
History for all disciplines
Tsahiridis, known to his students as “Professor T,” wanted to create a textbook that could drive intellectual conversation and curiosity by including perspectives from a variety of fields of study.
“I created a book that collaborates different interests,” said Tsahiridis. “Almost every major is in my textbook, so there is something they can utilize that catches their attention.”
The structure of his textbook also differs from what students might usually encounter.
“I don’t use dates. The last thing students want to read is a timeline of history,” said Tsahiridis. “Students can’t relate to dates, so I use transitions in history—who we are as a people and how that changes.”
Giving back to history
In addition to being almost half the cost of an average history textbook, all proceeds from Tsahiridis’ textbook will be donated to the Missouri State history department.
“MSU gave me my first start,” said Tsahiridis. “I was the first male in my family to go to college, so I wanted to give something back to the university.”
Students in Tsahiridis’ class this semester will use the preliminary edition of his textbook. At the end of the semester, students will complete a survey about their experience with the textbook so that revisions can be made before the first edition is published.
For more information, contact Tsahiridis at (417) 836-5479.