© The Dr. Antonio Jorge Social and Economic Development Council, 2019/20


Brian Peterson (Council Member)

Dr. Brian Peterson Curriculum Vitae April 2, 2013

Born: Anamosa, Iowa, 1942

Education: BA: Drake University, 1964 MA: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1965

Modern European History PhD: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976 Modern

European History Dissertation: German Working Class Voting in the Reichstag

Election of December, 1924

Employment: Teaching Assistant, North Carolina A&T College, Greensboro, 1965-

66 Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison Visiting Assistant Professor,

University of Southern California, Fall, 1972 Assistant Professor, Florida

International University, January, 1973-78 Associate Professor, Florida

International University, 1978-present

Scholarly work: The Social Bases of Working-Class Politics in the Weimar Republic: The Reichstag Election of

December, 1924, PhD dissertation, 1976 “Working-Class Communism: A Review of the Literature,” Radical

America, January-February, 1971 “The Politics of Working-Class Women in the Weimar Republic,” Central

European History, June, 1977 “Regional Elites and the Rise of National Socialism, 1920-1933,” in Radical

Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany, 1919-1945, edited by Michael N. Dobkowski and Isidor

Walliman, Monthly Review Press, 1989 Florida Endowment for the Humanities/ Florida Humanities Council

Projects: 1975: The Cuban Impact Conference. An all-day meeting on the impact of Cuban immigration on Miami

and the impact of Miami on Cuban exiles. The keynote address was by Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre.

The main focus of the conference was on practical measures that could be taken by both the city and by Cuban

immigrants to integrate them more fully into Miami politics (becoming citizens), education and health care. We

discussed Cuban clinics which are much like American HMOs. I was the director of this conference. 1980-81: Old

Age and Human Values. This was a series of humanities-oriented meetings including lectures, panel discussions

and film showings dealing with the understanding of aging in art, literature, film and philosophy. Meetings were

held in senior citizen centers across the county. I was the director of this series of programs. Teaching: World

Civilizations course: For the past fifteen years, I have taught World Civilizations each semester.

For the past several years, this course has had very large enrollments in both its classroom and fully online

variants. The course uses “Team-Based Learning” in which students work in groups of six to research complex

historical problems. The classroom version of this course also has each section of 30 or so students put on a

short play related to the theme of the course to give a deeper look into the culture of one society that we have

studied. Upper-division European history courses: These courses are also using Team-Based Learning, but they

include both shorter papers and a longer term paper. Over recent years, the themes of the longer papers have

included “Court Politics in France between 1600 and 1815,” “High Culture in Nazi Germany,” and “The Impact of

the French Revolution on Other Countries.” Honors College courses: For the past six years, I have taught in the

first-year Honors College course and participated in the collective discussions of the professors teaching in this

course. University Service: I was the first secretary-treasurer of the United Faculty of Florida at FIU in 1973-75

and I was president of the union chapter in 1981.

As the main undergraduate advisor for the History Department, I am an ex-officio member of the History

Department’s Undergraduate Committee. I was a long-time representative in the Faculty Senate, and I am

currently the Interim Chair of the Online Review Committee of the Faculty Senate. I am also on the advisory

committee to the Quality Matters program of FIU Online. Community Activities: Miami Education Review: For the

past twelve years, I have put out a daily email newsletter, Miami Education Review, with a subscription list of

around 100 people. The most persistent concern of the newsletter has been improving graduation rates and

academic achievement levels in schools in low-income neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County. Educational Policy

Analysis: Between 1985 and 2001, I wrote educational policy analysis studies that I shared with the Miami-Dade

County Public Schools School Board and top administration and with the United Teachers of Dade. These papers

were often written with students through the Honors Student Mentor Group of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for

Public Policy and Citizenship Studies. Among the reforms which these studies helped to bring about were: the

requirement of community service to graduate from high school; daily compulsory reading time of one hour, with

half to be carried out in school and half at home; the implementation of the Success for All curriculum in about

fifty low-scoring elementary schools. Four Years for FIU: In 1978-81, I did the research and writing for the FIU

Faculty for a Four-year University. We worked with State Senator Jack Gordon to bring about a lower-division

program for FIU, FAU, UNF and UWF. These universities were all originally established as upper-division schools.

Community College Baccalaureates: During the 1990s, I wrote many policy analysis papers and newspaper

articles for the Miami Times advocating baccalaureate degree programs for Miami-Dade Community College and

the other Florida community colleges. In 1998, I wrote a 35-page paper on this subject and sent it to the

community college presidents. They discussed the paper as the main item of business in one of their meetings

and voted 27 to 1 to pursue the baccalaureate. Several Florida community colleges now offer bachelor’s degrees.

Social and Economic Development Council, Miami-Dade County government: In 2009, I was appointed as a

member of this body which is advisory to the County Commission. As part of my participation in this body, I am

writing a fifty-page study of the pros and cons of luxury, destination casinos for our county. Garden at Carlos

Finlay Elementary: Students in my World Civilizations course maintain a vegetable garden with kindergarten

students at Dr. Carlos Finlay Elementary School which is located adjacent to FIU. My students also tutor the

kindergarten students and carry out any tasks which the teacher wants them to perform.