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Historical Thinking Concepts

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Tiffany Smith

on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of Historical Thinking Concepts

Historical Thinking Concepts
E: Using Primary-Source Evidence
- Primary sources: materials from the past (oral testimony, letters, maps, photographs, clothing, tools, etc.)
- They provide first-hand evidence of people and life from the past

C & C: Identifying Continuity and Change
- Identifying what has changed and what has stayed the same is not always simple. (Example: elections, inventions)
- Judgments about continuity and change can be made by comparing a situation at a specific point in the past with a similar situation today.

C C: Analyzing Cause and Consequence
- Another way of organizing past events
- Involves thinking about the role of, and limits on, individuals and groups in shaping events
= Underlying factors can also play a role in causing events
HP: Taking a Historical Perspective
- Putting yourself in the shoes of someone in the past
- It does not mean you must agree or identify with the actions taken or the attitudes displayed. It means you must understand them.
- Gathering primary sources helps you take a historical perspective.
HS: Establishing Historical Significance
- You need to think critically about historical significance.
- As people's values change, judgments about what is historically significant also changes
- May depend on a person's POV (point of view)
- The following is used to judge historical significance:
Does the event have serious, long-lasting consequences?
Does the event reveal or shed light on long-lasting or emerging issues?
Primary Sources
- When analyzing primary sources, you should ask:
In what context (circumstances) was the primary source created?
What was the POV of the creator?
What was the creator's purpose?
What was the creator's position in relation to the event?
What does the primary source reveal about the creator's values and ideas about the world?
What evidence about its historical setting does the primary source provide?
Aspects of C & C
Continuity and change are interrelated.
Circumstances change more quickly at some points than others
Change does not always mean progress.
Developing a sequence of events, you can organize your understanding of continuity and change.
Thinking about history as specific periods (Dirty Thirties, Swinging Sixties) can help your understanding.
Aspects of Cause and Consequence
- Causes can be numerous and layered. They can have long and short-term actions.
- Human beings are agents of change.
- Actions may result in unintended consequences.
ED: Considering the Ethical Dimensions of History
- Today's ethical standards (judging whether or not actions are right or wrong) may be very different depending on the time period.
- Studying and learning from past actions can help shape the way people think about ethical dilemmas today.

- Historians must try to take a historical perspective and avoid using today's ethical standards on past events.
- Ask questions that have an ethical dimension
- Suspend judgment

Considering the Ethical Dimensions of History
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