About Dr. David Pace
David Pace is an emeritus professor of European History at Indiana University, a co-founder of the Freshman Learning Project, and the president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History. He has been a fellow in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the Mack Center for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning and has received the American Historical Association’s Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to his publications in intellectual history, Pace is the co-author of Decoding the Disciplines: Helping Students Learn Disciplinary Ways of Thinking and has published articles on the scholarship of teaching and learning in The American Historical Review, The Journal of American History, Arts and Humanities, National Teaching and Learning Forum, History Teacher, College Teaching, American Historical Association Perspectives, To Improve the Academy, and in volumes published in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Most recently he was written The Decoding the Disciplines Paradigm: Seven Steps to Increased Student Learning, which will appear in the spring of 2017. He has also served as one of the directors of the History Learning Project, which seeks to define the kinds of operations required of students in college history courses and to devise effective strategies to help students master these skills.
With Joan Middendorf, Pace created Decoding the Disciplines, a new approach to increasing student learning in college classes. Faculty using this method begin by defining a bottleneck in one of their courses, i.e. a place where the learning of significant numbers of students is interrupted. They then go through a systematic process of exploration in which they define as precisely as possible just what experts in the field or successful students do to get past this obstacle. Once these steps have been defined, they are modeled for students, opportunities for practice and feedback are created, and the learning is assessed. This approach has been used to good effect in a wide variety of disciplines in a dozen countries, and it has become one of the central methodologies of the scholarship of teaching and learning.