The Mindset Lists of American History In America’s Classrooms

by Tom McBride

Both The Mindset Lists of American History and The Mindset List are finding their way into America’s classrooms. They are useful for:

  • Offering a generational approach to the study of American history. Students can find out more about their own generation by comparing it to the attitudes and “normality” of previous ones.
  • Connecting personal history to national history. Students can conduct interviews with living family members—and do archival research into the lives of dead ones—in order to write their own family’s Mindset List.
  • Fostering a sense that history is now. Instead of viewing history as something entirely in the past, with dusty tomes, students learn that they are just the latest generation to make history—in the present; they become much more historically aware.

Some Recent Examples

  • Anthropology Professor Gregory Vogel of Southern Illinois University has used The Mindset List® in order to help students learn about cultural relativism:
  • Professor James Kelly of Northeast State College in Tennessee is spearheading a project using The Mindset Lists of American History in honors classes. He finds that the book is the perfect way to illustrate an overlooked historical truth: that no one has ever lived in the past. For much more, please contact Professor Kelly at
  • Senior Teachers Gary Studeman ( and Matthew Flynn ( of Beloit Memorial High School (WI) have employed The Mindset List® in a unique new honors project: students conduct an oral history project with their own families and link these more personal histories with the social history in the United States.
  • Tom McBride and Ron Nief, co-authors of The Mindset Lists of American History, have written two extensive study guides to the book: We R History (a more general guide) and From IOUs to ATMs (the latter a guide to how the book is useful for teaching financial literacy).

For more information on how you can use The Mindset Lists of American History in your classroom, please contact us.

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