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"Doing History" with Primary Sources

Prezi for February 9, 2011

Steve Simpson

on 3 March 2011

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Transcript of "Doing History" with Primary Sources

Doing History with Primary Sources 3.2.11 Welcome / Introductions Why "Doing History"? -
---------- In many history classrooms, students are never asked to do the work of historians. MATH In a math classroom, students are doing math. SCIENCE Students in
science classrooms are conducting experiments
and participating
in labs. ELA In literature classes,
students are reading,
and writing
about literature. CTM Go into a technology classroom
and students are using technology. Why aren't students
in history classrooms
about primary sources
on a daily basis? Why do we so often
strip away everything
that is interesting about
historical inquiry? Memorizing
random facts
is not interesting. Listening to interesting stories is not intellectually stimulating. If students think history is boring,
that's on us, not them. Copying information
out of a book has
never been interesting. Hearing the same person talk for 45 or 90 minutes at a time is less than interesting. Ignoring the controversies of history is not interesting. Are we encouraging student inquiry,
or stifling it? The
(defined) History is too often
taught as a collection
of cut and dry facts:
dates, places, people,
and events, with little
to no attention paid
to interpretation . . . Discuss experiences from your own education that reflect this type of historical instruction.
Share your thoughts with a neighbor. This manner of instruction rarely demands high-level thinking or involves student collaboration.
It is primarily teacher-centered. "Stand and deliver" is not an effective instructional approach in engaging students and meeting their diverse needs. Of course,
there's nothing
wrong with facts . . . However, "just the facts"
doesn't get it done in
a 21st century classroom. It wasn't a very effective
model in the 20th century either . . . A different, and systematic, approach must be adopted
The skills that can be acquired through the deliberate and scaffolded use of primary sources are many of the same skills essential in both college and career . . . Examine this image: College & Career
Readiness Standards Written in 2007 & approved in 2008, the CCRS set out the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in entry-level college courses
The standards emphasize the weighing and analysis of important issues and questions in core academic disciplines
The new Social Studies TEKS were written using CCRS as a skills framework
STAAR was created, in part, to better determine whether students are college & career ready "Simply memorizing facts and data is not sufficient to succeed in a college-level social science course."
"Students need to know how to read and examine information critically, to communicate conclusions effectively, and to gather cogent information that will help them understand problems they will encounter in a wide variety of disciplines and careers."
"They need to understand something about the tools that scholars use to formulate and investigate major problems." Social Science Standards: Chapter IV - Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation of Information As you know, these are the highest cognitive levels on Bloom's. Critical reading of texts, images, and other artifacts The ability to identify the main idea(s) and point(s) of view in sources The ability to situate a source
in its appropriate contexts
(contemporary, historical, cultural) Evaluate sources
from multiple perspectives Understand the difference between
a primary and secondary source Critical reading of narrative texts Critical reading of research data With a partner,
compare page 26 of the CCRS
to the new skills TEKS
for your course. Please highlight skill expectations
that appear in both documents. Now, let's consider Section B:
Research and Methods Use of scientific method in research Understand how historians develop
new and competing views
of past phenomena The ability to gather, organize,
and display data and research results. Ability to identify and collect sources Critically understand / interpret presentations (e.g., speeches, lectures, less formal presentations) Constructing a thesis
that is supported by evidence Recognizing counterarguments With a partner,
compare page 26 of the CCRS
to the new skills TEKS
for your course. Please highlight skill expectations
that appear in both documents. TODAY'S AGENDA: TODAY'S
OBJECTIVES We are going to work through
three examples of students "doing history." Students investigate and "solve"
a historical "mystery" Students consider the historiography of a
particular era or event Students examine sources that challenge entrenched myths or flawed narratives U.S. History: Early Cold War World History:
Napolean -
Revolutionary or Tyrant? U.S. History:
Was John Brown Insane? http://databases.abc-clio.com http://sheg.stanford.edu/?q=node/45 Reading Like A Historian ABC-CLIO History in the Making
by Kyle Ward New York Times
Op-Ed I. Welcome
II. Agenda / Objectives
III. The Problem?
IV. Perspective Piece
V. College & Career
Readiness Standards
VI. U.S. History - Who
Started the Cold War? VII. World History -
Napolean: Tyrant or
VIII. U.S. History -
Was John Brown
IX. Review Objectives
X. Evaluation http://sheg.stanford.edu/?q=node/45 Reading Like A Historian These activities require: Assessing sources . . . Collecting evidence . . . Developing an
argument . . . Writing a coherent
explanation of
that argument and
the evidence that
supports it. As an extension, have students consider different
intepretations of
the Cold War. This is a challenging
exercise. Students should be allowed to work with
one another in order to
collaborate. The "Texas Troubles" By 1860, hostility between the North and South
was worse than ever. Violence erupted in Texas
during the summer of that year. The "Texas Troubles" began with a series of fires
that damaged parts of Dallas, Denton, and Pilot
Point. A young newspaper editor blamed African
Americans and abolitionists for the fires. There
was no evidence that this was true. Texas vigilantes punished those they thought
were guilty. Vigilantes are people who take the
law into their own hands. They hanged between
30 and 100 people, many of whom were slaves. taken from -
Lone Star: The Story of Texas So, this event gets a paragraph
in the textbook . . . rather sparse coverage of a really interesting
and revealing event from
Texas' antebellum history.

How could we use the event
to encourage our students
to think like historians? How often do we ask students:
What else would you want to learn about this topic / event / person?
Do you agree with the author's conclusion?
What other factors should be considered?
Whose point of view is missing? What was the size of the slave population of those areas? What was the population of free blacks in those areas? What, if any, abolitionist activity occurred in the region in the months leading up to the violence? How long did the terrorist activty carry on? Did the approach of the 1860 Presidential Election play a role? Who were the "vigilantes"? How did this violence compare to similar events in other states? What do we know about the editor? Were the white owners of slaves killed compensated for their economic losses? How did the violence compare to similar acts of violence during Reconstruction? How was the event portrayed in formal histories? Did coverage of the violence change over time? Did any groups stand to benefit from the violence, either politically or economically? What other factors could be responsible for the fires? How were the murders covered in the national media? One of our responsibilities is
to remind students of the
importance of looking at
an event or an issue from
multiple perspectives: THINGS ARE NOT AS
AS THEY MIGHT APPEAR Potential lesson plan: Introduce the central question: Napolean - Enlightened Revolutionary or Power-Hungry Tyrant?
Take a straw-poll of the class to gauge initial thoughts
Divide students into groups: give one half of the groups the Esdaile essay, the other half receive the Leggiere essay. Provide students with time to read and discuss the essays.
Request feedback from the class, and provide clarification so that they better understand historians' perspectives
Have students, "Take a Stand" on the original question - first where they were at the beginning of class, and second where they are after reading the articles
Assign the written assessment Questions? Comments? Thank you for your attendance today! Please fill out an evaluation form before you depart. Participants will discuss
and distinguish between
traditional and effective
approaches to teaching history Participants will examine
a complex image,
identify its component parts,
and share their ideas
with the group. Participants will add to
a list of research questions
related to an event
from Texas History. Participants will compare
Skills TEKS from their content
to the College & Career
Readiness Standards. Based upon a critical reading of Cold War sources, participants will hypothesize about who was most responsible for the Cold War. Participants will discern between two historiographic essays and determine whether they believe Napoleon was a revolutionary
or a tyrant. Participants will examine and assess how historical accounts of John Brown have evolved over time and will propose explanations for the changing accounts. These are just a few
ways in which you can
engage your students
in "doing history"
Full transcript