WESTERN CIV I
WESTERN CIV I
HSTR 365-001 ANCIENT
HSTR 101-800 WESTERN CIV I
HSTA 102-002 AMERICAN HIST II
HSTR 304-001 ANCIENT ROME
HSTR 462-001 HOLOCAUST NAZI OCCUPIED
Thomas C. Rust, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of History
Department of History
Office: 822 Liberal Arts Building
tel: (406) 657-2891
Ph.D. University of Leicester (2006)
M.Ed. Montana State University-Billings
M.A. University of Denver (1995)
B.A. University of Minnesota (1992)
My interests lie where history meets
archaeology. I am a historian first and an archaeologist
second. As Ivor Noel Hume once said, "I am not suggesting that
anthropologists cannot be good historical archaeologists, only that
initially they do not know the documentary sources essential to the
study of historical artifacts." My current research focus is on
examining the social and economic change in small towns of the northwest
Roman Empire. However, my general interests also include American
frontier history and archaeology. I teach a wide range of classes
from ancient and medieval history to United States military history.
Economics and Identity in Romano-British Small Towns. (John
Hedges, Ltd.: Oxford, 2006) ISBN 1-84171-760-6
Fort Ellis: A Documentary History
(Edited with Introduction) (Gallatin County Historical Society,
2004) ISBN 1-59247-742-9
“Settlers, Soldiers, and Scoundrels: Economic
Tension in a Frontier Military Town.” Military History of
the West, Vol. 31, no. 2 (Fall 2001), pp. 117-138.
Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 10th Edition
2005/2006, ID# 36878941-8
Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in
Teaching 2002-2003, presented by
the Associated Students of Montana State University- Billings (ASMSUB)
I am constantly reflecting
on my teaching practices and how those practices are indicative
of my teaching beliefs. Many times, my teaching and learning
experiences influence my beliefs about how students learn. As I
continue to reflect on my profession, I know that my teaching
philosophy will evolve. My teaching philosophy and methodology
is based on a student-centered constructivist approach where
knowledge is socially constructed. What we absorb and retain
from childhood to adulthood is influenced by our surroundings,
our backgrounds, and our interests.
Therefore, I believe
classrooms should be learner centered, not teacher centered. My
job is to act as a guide or facilitator, not just as a
dispenser of knowledge. I believe that students learn more from
solving their own problems and finding their own answers rather
than from passively accepting deposits of knowledge in a book or
from a lecture. Thus, when I teach, I set up frameworks for
learning and give students guidelines. I encourage them to pose
their own opinions, and to question the opinions of others.
To understand my teaching
philosophy it is necessary to understand constructivism.
Constructivism is an approach to teaching and learning based on
the premise that cognition (learning) is the result of "mental
construction." In other words, students learn by fitting new
information together with what they already know.
Constructivists believe that learning is affected by the context
in which an idea is taught as well as by students' beliefs and
attitudes. Effective teaching focuses on problem solving rather
than on prescriptive solutions. It means teaching students the
useful kinds of questions to ask about information with which
they are confronted. As a teacher, I try to help students
develop their critical reading, thinking and writing skills so
that they can successfully participate in the work place.
Because we live in a
fast-moving and technological society, the way we teach has to
change. Educators can no longer merely function as dispensers of
information because there is far too much information to
dispense, and it is changing as quickly as it is created.
Educators must become facilitators of learning who show students
how and where to access information quickly and efficiently.
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