With today's computers and smart phones, historical information is available at the click of a button. Do students really need to study history anymore?

David Williard: Many people think history is just about mem­orizing facts, but I want my students to learn to think critically about why people - whether presidents or ordinary, run-of-the-mill citizens – made the choices they did by paying careful attention to the economic, cultural, social and political dimensions of the world in which they lived. In so doing, my students can begin to see the past as a complex relationship between broader societal influences and individual choices. Since this same dynamic affects our lives today, I hope they will become more reflective about the way they relate to their current world. If they leave my courses recognizing that we cannot make informed, meaningful choices without under­standing the context of our own lives and society, and have some grasp of how we can do this, then my students will have met my most important learning goal.