Keith Wheelock, RVCC Humanities Dept.  

Keith Wheelock

Adjunct Professor, History

Humanities, Social Sciences & Education

rvcc e-mail: kwheeloc@raritanval.edu
home email: kwheelock1@comcast.net





Educational Philosophy

I am proud of my RVCC students. For most of them, RVCC is integral to their American dream: to obtain an education that will provide them and their families the opportunity of a richer, better life.

I follow Socrates' lead in asking Why? and in rigorously examining historical myths and traditions. My primary objective is to enable my students to THINK for themselves. History is a marvelous story that often is obscured by the focus on memorizing names, dates, and battles. My focus is on enabling my students to appreciate and understand what happened and why. Thus each class commences with students writing a THINK essay on why they THINK about what we are studying.

Addressing World Civ 1 (from creation to 1500) in 14 weeks is an impossible task. Thus, I focus on topics (emergence of patriarchy, love, sex, and devotion in early times, the Chinese Civil Service Exam System, Plato's Cave, similarities and differences between early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, each student's personal beliefs, and war, aggression, and peace) that enable comprehension of some of history's timeless issues.

Similarly, in World Civ 2 I focus on race and racism, politics, morality, and change, the emerging world economy from feudalism up to our current mixed economy, and nationalism, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War era. In Am Civ 1 I focus on the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and The Hamilton Plan, concluding with events leading up to the Civil War, then the Civil War. In Am Civ 2, I skip important periods to permit full coverage of American history from the Great Depression to the present.

I believe that teaching less is better than more. My experience is that it is better to build in review periods to re-enforce what we have studied rather than to race through a dense curriculum which permits students little opportunity to reflect on what we have studied.

I recognize that students are at different stages of their potential learning experience. I reward those who, upon developing self confidence, blossom during a semester. I also believe in negotiating 'second chance' contracts with individual students. My only insistence is that students make a sustained personal effort.


Biographical Sketch

I started teaching right out of college, then took a 'sabbatical' of about 35 years, before joining the RVCC faculty in 1992. I wrote a book on modern Egypt, before becoming a professional diplomat (Congo-Leopoldville, Chile). I resigned from the Foreign Service, worked in Mayor Lindsay's NYC administration, then for the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. There I created international bond ratings, later was responsibility for worldwide Moody's debt instrument ratings, served on the D&B Senior Management Group, and ran D&B's management consulting company for 7 years. Subsequently, I formed my own management consulting company, before I wrote a book on New Jersey growth management.

From 1984 I became deeply involved in my own Somerset County community, serving on Montgomery Township Committee, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Adjustment. I am a charter member of the Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary Club. I have conducted short story programs in Somerset County Jail and, for years, was chairman of People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos. I have been involved in the Eisenhower Fellowship's global programs for over 15 years, currently serving on the Board of Trustees, am on the Advisory Board for Nation Public Radio's (NPR) This I Believe, and I am Documentary Film Guide Editor, Film & History [www.filmandhistory.org].

My wife and I live in Montgomery. Our four children (and five grandchildren) are spread along the East Coast.


Courses Taught

  • World Civilization I (HIST 101)
  • World Civilization II (HIST 102)
  • U.S. History: Beginnings to 1877 (HIST 201)
  • U.S. History: 1877 to Present (HIST 202)


Publications, Papers, Presentations, and Awards

  • Nasser's New Egypt: A Critical Analysis (1960)
  • New Jersey Growth Management: Why It's Imperative; Why It's Not Working; What to Do About It (1989)
  • Egypt (1953)
  • Sudan: Land of Contrasts (1954)
  • Various
  • State Department Meritorious Honor Award
  • State Department Superior Honor Award
  • Rotary Paul Harris Award
  • Film & History's Distinguished Service Award
  • RVCC Adjunct Recognition Award
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honorary Member



Professor Wheelock's resources are available in WebStudy.
To see these resources, click the WebStudy link above, then type in the guest User Name (guest169539) and Password (Wheelock).


last modified 3/25/2013 by HJS