ADAPT Program -- Accent on Developing Abstract Processes of Thought


Date of this Version

November 1978


The ADAPT History course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is still very much in its infancy. To date it has consisted of a two-semester course dealing with the nature of “revolution and other forms of change" in Modern Europe from 1776 to the present. The thematic tone of its title has been kept deliberately vague; its content has tended to stress the origin, development, and change of ideas, institutions, and value-structures within the established chronology, all of which one would likely find in the traditional “Western Civilization” course. The course has not attempted to present the study of man in some new mode or to create a multimedia framework. It has benefited from being a part of the ADAPT project in that students have had opportunities to bring in to the course discoveries and experiences gained in their other academic work, However, the instruments of the course have been only those of one instructor and a typical selection of about 30 freshmen students one would find in any other history course at the University. Yet because of the utilization of Piagetian learning concepts, the course is a marked departure from existing courses in the department's program. An index of its worth at this point would lead one to suggest that it may meet the criteria expected by the profession: a limited investment of time and money; a relatively easy application of its format to other history courses and to other groupings of university students; and the maintenance of the discipline's commitment to scholarship. Since Piaget has already found its place within the learning programs of many high school and primary school curricula, the ADAPT course may also provide a vehicle of communication so necessary among teachers of history at all levels in the American educational structure.