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Mr. Moore's TOK History Prezi
Transcript of Mr. Moore's TOK History Prezi
How do different individuals and groups define what is historically important?
What is the meaning and purpose of history?
What limitations and challenges do historians face in writing about the past?
Why do we study history? Does examining the events of the past have any intrinsic value?
You have reckoned that history ought to judge the past and to instruct the contemporary world as to the future. The present attempt does not yield to that high office. It will merely tell how it really was.
~ Leopold von Ranke
You may, as most students, assumed that history has value in-as-much as it can inform the future.
Ranke, a positivist, counter-argues that history -as a simple recording and reporting of facts has no such power. It merely is a cluster of facts.
Both of you assume that history is accurate - but is it? Is it possible for historians to tell things as they really happened?
If so - how do you know?
If not - what factors prevent us from getting at this absolute truth?
Does that mean there is a difference between "the past" and "history?"
The past as we know it from the interpretations of historians based on the critical study of the widest possible range of relevant sources, every effort having been made to challenge and avoid the perpetuation of myth.
Arthur Marwick – The Nature of History
We arouse and arrange our memories to fit our psychic needs
God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
~Samuel Butler, "Prose Observations"
Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.
A history in which every particular incident may be true may on the whole be false.
~ Thomas Babington Macaulay
A lot of history is just dirty politics clean up for the consumption of children and other innocents.
Universal history, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the history of the Great Men who have worked here.
[History is] an accumulative science, gradually gathering truth through the steady and plodding efforts of countless practitioners turning out countless monographs.
Understanding the past requires pretending that you don't know the present.
"An historian should yield himself to his subject, become immersed in the place and period of his choice, standing apart from it now and then for a fresh view."
~Samuel Eliot Morison
Does the way one views history matter?
If you're a historian?
If you're a student?
If you're a politician?
Why or why not?
As a police officer you followed a report to find that a woman named Mrs. Jones had died of natural causes in her home. You filed a report, but no one claims to have known her. This bothers you so much that you decide to figure out who this woman was. You begin investigating, but find very little in public records. You also search her house for clues. Here's what you've got:
Her name was Luella Jones, she was once married to James Jones, who disappeared 20 years ago.
Luella was 56 at the time of her death.
Her house was quite sterile of anything personal, but you did find a picture of young man in a German military suit on her bedroom mirror. Its hard to date the photo, but it appears somewhat recent.
There is a large jar of pennies and odd coins in the corner of her living room.
She has a large antique radio, but no T.V. nor any other modern appliances beyond the kitchen.
There is a small stack of unpaid bills on her dining table, two of which say "final notice."
The coroner stated that the cause of death was a blood clot in her leg, which moved to her heart causing a massive heart attack and killing her instantly.
Given what you have - what was her story?
Share your stories with your groupmates...
Were your stories different? Why?
Does history try to piece things together too? What does this have to do with perception? (Remember, perception (both sensory and conceptual) is shaped by our values and perspecives).
We tend to miss things we're not looking for.
We accept things are clear that are actually quite fragmented.
We tend to see things in black or white, and thus miss things.
We've a tendency to "fill in" when we don't have everything.
We don't always examine things from other angles.
To understand the foundations of historical inquiry and the methodologies used by historians to acquire knowledge
To understand some of the problems associated with the selection and use of historical evidence
The past is
But history is a tamed housecat.
Now! Be a historian!
Imagine that you have been appointed to write a section of a history book about GSIS. For the next ten minutes, write about the things you would consider to be the most important events of the 2010-2012 school.
Were your histories about GSIS completely the same?
What factors accounted for the differences in your histories?
If this document were read by someone 100 years in the future, what problems would that researcher face?
History is each generation’s reconstruction of the past. If history is a jigsaw puzzle, then not only the missing pieces have to be created, the existing pieces need to be continually reshaped to fit together with the newly created pieces. Then both these new and old pieces have to be reinterpreted in the light of new knowledge and changing values.
So... if historians are trying to reconstruct the past, how do they do this?
Sources developed by someone who was there @ the time.
Sources developed by someone later, as a second-hand account.
Are Primary Sources necessarialy better? Why or why not?
How can the 4 ways of knowing distort the production of a primary source (for example, a diary?
Should all primary sources be considered of equal value? How do we determine?
Are Secondary Sources free of the issues that primary sources have?
Why or why not? Do secondary sources have unique strengths?
EH Carr argued that the task of the historian was significantly different from that of natural scientists in that:
history deals with the unique and science with the general
history is unable to predict
history teaches no lessons
history is of necessity subjective since people are observing themselves
history, unlike science, involves issues of religion and morality
Reconstructing the Past
Interpreting the Past
The historical method:
Facts are "like fish swimming about in a vast ocean.... what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use - these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. ~E.H. Carr
As the method shows us, again, history isn't just a complation of facts. In fact, E.H. Carr goes on to explain the "problem of facts."
So... Essentially, we must rely on the integrity
of historians to judiciously assess evidence.
BUT….is this standard always reliable?
Is history a "myth"?
A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal: a star whose fame turned her into a myth; the pioneer myth of suburbia.
Can you think of myths in history?
What words come to your mind when you think of Columbus?
How have perceptions of Columbus changed in history over recent years?
What was the old myth surrounding Columbus?
What has it been replaced with in recent years? Is this essentially another myth?
Homework (Part 2):
Finish Lagemaat Chapter
Journal: To what extent can we know what has happened in the past through history? Why does it matter?
**USE the 2nd Band of the Journal Criterion, "Quality Analysis"**
*You may have a great journal fail if you don't look at the criterion before you write!*
Homework (Part 1):
Read Lagemaat pp. 301-314
In a group of 2, analyze the following quotes (I will assign you one).