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Uncovering history


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Synthesis of approaches to uncovering history with history labs. Students do the work of historians by constructing knowledge from primary sources. This presentation was used to kick off a teacher action-research group at Anoka High School (MN) that develops history lab activities. Some of their work can be seen at .

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Uncovering history

  1. 1. Uncovering History Eric Beckman Sources:Lendohl Calder, “Uncoverage: Toward a Signature Pedagogy for the History Survey” JAH Bruce Lesh, Why Wont You Just Tell Us the Answers? Bruce VanSledright, The Challenge of Rethinking History Education Sam Wineburg, “Crazy for History” Stanford History Education Group Powerful and Authentic Social Studies (PASS) program of the NCSS
  2. 2. WhatAuthentic historical practice Interpretation, between fact and opinion Weighing evidenceStudent-centered inquiryDeep learning Fact Interpretation Opinion
  3. 3. WhyDeepen engagementDevelop literacyEncourage higher Order thinkingStop the madness! Years of pursuing trivia has not gotten us very far
  4. 4. New York Times Headlines, Guess the years..."Ignorance of U.S. History Shown by College Freshmen""Times Test Shows Knowledge of American History Limited." From Sam Wineburg, “Crazy for History”
  5. 5. New York Times Headlines, Guess the years..."Ignorance of U.S. History Shown by College Freshmen" 1943"Times Test Shows Knowledge of American History Limited." 1976
  6. 6. Shift our understanding of history, epistemologically speaking The Deep The Copier The Borrower Thinker aka aka aka Naïve Realist Naïve Relativist Critical Pragmatist Bruce Van Sledright, The Challenge of Rethinking History Education
  7. 7. Epistemologies of HistoryNaïve Realist (copier) History is a recording of what we objectively know happened Clear correct answers to specific questionsNaïve Relativists (borrower) Different accounts and sources are just “opinions” No correct or incorrect answersCritical Pragmatist (deep thinker) Interpretive tools to draw conclusions from multiple accounts Supports conclusions with evidence
  8. 8. Fact Interpretation Opinion
  9. 9. Thinking Historically, two models, same ideasBruce Lesh: SHEG:Text Close reading What does it say? What does it say?Context Contextualization Relationship to time Relationship to time period? period?Subtext Sourcing Influence of authors Influence of authors POV? POV?
  10. 10. History Lab, combining SHEG and Mr. LeshEstablish contextHook with a key visual or short textPose organizing question Focus on history concept Engage studentsStudents Read Documents 1-3 or Jigsaw PQCS: Mark it up! Interpret DiscussFormative Product Students use evidence to support claims FeedbackSummative Product
  11. 11. History Concepts that drive history labsCausalityChronologyMultiple perspectivesContingencyEmpathyChange and continuity over timeImpactIntent/motivationContrasting interpretations Mr. Lesh, p. 13
  12. 12. The Work to be DoneSelect topicsFind sources Select editFormulate guiding questionProcessing and formative assessmentsAuthentic Products