I feel learning about the past is not a lonesome chore; it is something to be shared in. Communicating my knowledge, galvanising new thinking, and helping all interested minds in interacting with history is therefore something in which I invest a lot of time and energy. Below are the courses I’ve taught to date as well as indicators of my performance.
To see the other ways which I communicate my research and interests in history, please take a look at the Outreach Page or feel free to contact me.
European History 1A (1500-1800)
In the Autumn Semester of 2015 I taught two weekly tutorials on Early Modern Europe to first year undergraduates (twelve students in each class) at the University of Edinburgh. The course focused on how European society has changed as a result of the interplay of major economic, social, religious, political and cultural developments. Our tutorials featured a wide chronological and thematic span covering gender, environment, micro-history methods, the Renaissance legacy, the Reformation(s), Thirty Years’ War, the Scientific Revolution, Fiscal-Military Statehood, Enlightenment, and the French Revolution. In addition I provided fortnightly pastoral support and graded essays (2,000 words) and primary source exercises/gobbet work (500-700 words).
European History 1B (1789-1989)
In the Spring Semester 2016, I tutored on a follow-on course looking at the emergence of Modern Europe since the French Revolution. The course organiser provided me with great freedom in the tutorial topics and material, and I was allowed to construct my own reading list and seminar content. As a result I provided students with open-minded methods to approach European History. We not only covered core historical texts and readings but also discussed artworks, architecture, literature, and music as primary sources. Each week my syllabus included a “For the Curious” section which suggested these types of relevant materials as a compliment to our standard reading material. This proved a huge success with students.
Early Modern History – A Connected World
After my research stay at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in the Autumn Semester of 2016, I returned to Edinburgh in January 2017 and restarted my role as tutor for two groups on a new course which sought to expand undergraduates’ understanding of the Early Modern era into a global perspective. Our seminar classes reflected this aim by discussing constructs of ‘Europe’ and ‘Modernity,’ the conquest of Peru, minorities across cultures, economic divergences, knowledge and science in the Iberian Empires, global enlightenment, international trade and consumerism, as well as social relations/classes in the Aztec, Chinese and Swedish cultures. In addition to pastoral support I also marked coursework in the form of mid-terms (1,500 words) and end-of-semester essays (2,500 words).
Modern United States History (1900-2000)
At the same time (Spring 2017), I also tutored American History of the 20th Century from the Spanish-American War to inauguration of President Trump. Given this was the first to fall during the Trump Presidency, students were particularly keen to explore the history of current debates in American History; as a result I adapted my weekly seminars to feature a concluding segment on ‘how topic X is relevant today.’ For each discussion I provided them with contemporary material from a wide range of political and social commentators. The fresh approach was very well received amongst my students and the course successfully made them aware of the importance of historical knowledge to our current situation.
“Having Jon as my tutor improved my entire experience of the course. He recommended a plethora of supplementary material that was interesting, informative, and aided my understanding of the topics. I really enjoyed the range of perspectives we were introduced to thanks to Jon. The group and individual discussions especially improved my confidence in the seminar setting. Jon is a fantastic teacher and I enjoyed every tutorial and looked forward to them every week.”
“Jonathan is an outstanding teacher – very perceptive of his students’ needs and interested in connecting the study of history to present-day concerns.”
“I really enjoyed the tutorials with Jonathan. I felt that he really helped me to engage with the topics discussed which in turn made them far more interesting. I now feel better prepared for my future years at University with regards to tutorial prep and overall engagement with topics and subsequent questions assigned. He taught me to look at the bigger picture and to look for a variety of research materials from various different periods and authors to allow for greater depth to be gathered and various opinions explored. I am very grateful for his help and advice throughout the semester.”
“Jon provided a warm and welcoming environment, which encouraged informed discussion, proving extremely helpful in my studies”
“Jonathan was my tutor for Modern United States History. I thoroughly enjoyed our classes because Jonathan ran them slightly different to other classes I’ve had. Firstly, our classes were always focused on academic discussion surrounding our topics for the week rather than discussing exams or essay techniques; these were matters which students could discuss with Jonathan outside of the tutorial.
Secondly, I really valued the fact that Jonathan would select the readings himself, meaning that we were getting a tailor-made syllabus. This included Jonathan scouring the web to find a modern-day example in the news of history repeating which meant we not only learned about the past, but gathered an appreciation of how history has shaped America today. Lastly, I thought that Jonathan had a very skilful approach to including everyone in the class discussion so we could discuss the given topics and gain some confidence amongst ourselves.”
“Jon Singerton was my tutor for the course A Connected World. As a Geography student I wanted to explore other academic disciplines and History was one of them. Jon was one of the best tutors I have ever had. He provided excellent guidance in my writing the two essays of the course and under his supervision my History essay writing skills greatly improved. He responded promptly to my course inquiries and provided me with a meticulously prepared reading list on extra-curriculum History topics. Even though his area of expertise lay with the Habsburg Empire, he covered the various topics of the course diligently, and came to the tutorials always well prepared, providing us with additional media which deepened our understanding of the material. His teaching resulted in my developing a deeper interest for History and inspired me to take more History courses in university as well as to put some History books in my holiday reading list.”