Evidence “The concept of evidence is central to history because it is only through the use of evidence that history becomes possible.” (How people learn, Lee, 2005, p. 54).
Evidence Misconceptions might include The assumption that history is just known The assumption that primary sources should not contradict or disagree That biased sources are “untrue” That historical interpretation is solely based on factual evidence
Work of historians Historians make inferences “Historians are not simply forced to choose between two reports, but can work out their own picture, which may differ from both. With this understanding goes the recognition that we can know things about the past that no witness has reported” (Lee, 2005, p. 58)
Work of historians
“[Historical] texts come not to convey information, to tell stories, or even to set the record straight. Instead, they are slippery, cagey, and protean, reflecting the uncertainty and disingenuity of the real world. Texts emerge as ‘speech acts’- social interactions set down on paper that can be understood only by reconstructing the social context in which they occurred.” (Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts, Wineberg, p. 66-67)
Historical accounts In other words… “The meaning of a story is more than the sum of its parts” …and the story itself is a part of larger conversations (discourse) we have about the past (historiography)
History in the schools “For a long time, and not just in history, schools have tended to keep a kind of secret knowledge from all but their oldest and most able students. Knowledge is contested, is provisional, and is subject to continuous change” (p. 72)
Information-rich classrooms Information Age Digital libraries Knowledge-sharing Blogs Wikipedia
Sources of knowledge about the past (or) How do we know about the past? teachers media historians textbooks
The Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks
Textbook Account History of the United States: Beginnings to 1877 (Mason, Jacobs, Ludlum McDougal-Littell, 1995)
What are some of the highlights of the Boston Massacre Wikipedia article?
Another related topic - How has the our understanding of Crispus Attucks changed over time?
Back to the Boston Massacre – look at the original WP article, as it was first created(History --> view earliest)http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boston_Massacre&oldid=203484 Posted at11:02 am, 8 September 2002 (there were 3 other edits that same day, all in about 20 minutes from the initial draft)
Initial text 11:02, 8 September 2002 126.96.36.199 (talk) The Boston Massacre occurred 5 March 1770AD. This was one of the events that helped spark the American Revolution. In an event much like what would happen over 200 years later at Kent State, a mob of men began taunting armed soldiers. After some of the men began throwing ice at the British soldiers, eventually the soldiers fired back. In this action, 5 Americans died, including one Crispus Attucks, the first known African-American Casualty of the American Revolution. Six more were injured. The event was immortalized by an engraver named Paul Revere. In a post-massacre trial, 6 soldiers were found non-guilty, and 2 more-- the only two proven to have fired-- were found guilty of manslaughter. John Adams acted as defense attorney.
Author = IP address 188.8.131.52 In 34 minutes from one computer this author made 13 WP contributions including the initial Boston Massacre post http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/184.108.40.206 ISP is CURRENTLY held by Dr. Erik N. Zeeman, MD Inc.
What has happened to the Boston Massacre entry since then? Current version has been greatly expanded As of Sept 25, 2009: 1686 editors http://toolserver.org/~daniel/WikiSense/Contributors.php?wikifam=.wikipedia.org&wikilang=en&order=-edit_count&page=Boston+Massacre&grouped=on&ofs=0&max=1000 About 3000 edits total
How does the structure of Wikipedia help us understand the discipline of history Focus on Crispus Attucks. He gets singled out by name in both the textbook and the first version of the Wikepedia article, as well as all of the 1657 versions that followed.
Was Attucks singled out in Revere's print? Text below the engraving “Unhappy Boston! see thy Sons deplore, Thy hallowed Walks besmeared with guiltless Gore." Also listed are the "unhappy Sufferers" Saml Gray, Saml Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr (killed) and it is noted that there were "Six wounded; two of them (Christr Monk & John Clark) Mortally.”
How did we get to the point where Attucks is the only one of the six that gets attention? Wikipedia article on Crispus Attucks actually gives us a lot to go onhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crispus_Attucks