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Learning Historical Thinking

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Learning Historical Thinking – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Learning Historical Thinking


1
Learning Historical Thinking
2
Background
  • To think historically is essentially to be a
    critical thinker when it comes to the study of
    history.
  • Peter Seixas,
  • University of British Columbia

3
6 Concepts of Historical Thinking
  • Significance
  • Evidence
  • Continuity Change
  • Cause Consequence
  • Historical Perspective-taking
  • The Moral Dimension (Judgment)

4
Significance
  • Events, people or developments have historical
    significance if they resulted in change. That is
    they had deep consequences, for many people, over
    a long period of time.
  • Events, people or developments have historical
    significance if they are revealing over a long
    period of time. That is they shed light on
    enduring or emerging issues in history or
    contemporary life.
  • Historical significance is constructive. That is
    Events, people or developments meet the criteria
    for historical significance only when they are
    shown to occupy a meaningful place in a
    narrative.
  • Historical significance varies over time and from
    group to group.

5
Evidence
  • Problem the past is gone. So, how do we know
    about it? Through evidence.
  • History is an interpretation based on inferences
    made from primary sources. Primary sources are
    made from accounts but they can also be traces,
    relics, or records.
  • Asking good questions about a source can turn it
    into evidence.
  • Sourcing often begins before a sources is read,
    with questions about who created it and when it
    was created. It involves inferring from the
    source the authors or creators purposes, values
    and worldview, either conscious or unconscious.
  • A source should be analyzed in relation to the
    context of its historical setting the
    conditions and worldviews prevalent at the time
    in question.
  • Inferences made from one source can never stand
    alone.

6
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7
Continuity and Change
  • Continuity and change are interwoven both can
    exist together.
  • Change is a process with varying paces and
    patterns. Turning points are moments when the
    process of change shifts in direction or pace.
  • Progress and decline are broad evaluations of
    change over time. Depending on the impacts of
    change, progress for one people may be decline
    for another.

8
The IBM 7094, a typical mainframe computer photo
courtesy of IBM
9
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10
Cause Consequence
  • Change is driven by multiple causes and is driven
    by multiple consequences.
  • The causes that lead to a particular historical
    event vary in their influence, with some being
    more important than others.
  • Events result from the interplay of two types of
    factors
  • Historical actors, who are people (individual or
    groups) who take actions that cause historical
    events, and
  • The social, political, economic and cultural
    conditions within which the actors operate.

11
Cause and Consequence
  • The events in history were not inevitable, any
    more than those of the future are. Alter a
    single action or condition, and an event might
    have turned out differently.
  • unintended consequences
  • Part II
  • Part III

12
Columbine
Marilyn Manson
13
Historical Perspective
  • Presentism is the opposite of historical
    perspective. Presentism is when you examine the
    past through todays understandings (values,
    norms, technological understanding)
  • The goal, when thinking historically, is to avoid
    presentism.

14
Moral Judgment
  • Authors make ethical judgments in writing
    historical narratives.
  • Reasoned ethical judgments of past actions are
    made by taking into account the historical
    context of the actors in question.
  • When making ethical judgments it is important to
    be cautious about imposing contemporary standards
    of right and wrong on the past.
  • A fair assessment of ethical implications of
    history can inform us of our responsibility to
    remember and to respond to the contributions,
    sacrifices and injustices of the past.

15
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16
What about local history?
17
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18
  • http//cct2.edc.org/PMA/image_detective/model_read
    ing3.html

19
Thinking historically
  • Make inferences about life around town at that
    time
  • Consider the societal, economic, technological
    environment
  • Compare with photos of the same place today
  • Identify a list of things that have changed and
    stayed the same
  • http//www.histori.ca/benchmarks/
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