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Historical Perspective Taking


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A presentation on Historical Perspective Taking for the Davis Center on Russian Studies at Harvard

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Historical Perspective Taking

  1. 1. Historical Perspective Taking Justin Reich Co-director EdTechTeacher Doctoral Student, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  2. 2. What is Historical Perspective Taking? <ul><li>Skilled reading of historical texts where the reader attempts to understand the values, motivations, prior knowledge, understanding, and biases of the author </li></ul><ul><li>Something that is really hard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we make this task approachable for students? How can we break it into manageable parts? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Reading Comprehension vs. HPT <ul><li>Reading Comp </li></ul><ul><li>Decoding words </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying authorial intent </li></ul><ul><li>Imagining audience </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreting figurative language </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes that the reading can be comprehended without context </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes that the text is “timeless,” that decoding strategies from the present work </li></ul><ul><li>HPT </li></ul><ul><li>Decoding words as used at a moment in time </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying authorial intent, assuming that intent is not comprehensible from the text alone </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine an audience using non-textual clues </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes that reading cannot be comprehended without context </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes that text is specific to a particular time, place, culture, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Documents talk, but only if you ask them the right questions. -Dan Levine Bowdoin College
  5. 5. Think Aloud Protocol <ul><li>Person #1 will be the reader and Person #2 will be the recorder for the first document, then they will switch roles. </li></ul><ul><li>Timing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 minutes read first document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 minute reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 minutes read second document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 minute reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Whole class discussion to review HPT strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted from Sam Wineburg's Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts who adapted it from David Perkins' The Mind's Best Work </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reader Tasks <ul><li>Read aloud the assigned text </li></ul><ul><li>As you read aloud, discuss aloud how you are thinking about and interpreting what you are reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Say whatever is on you mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't over explain or justify </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't worry about complete sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proceed as far as you can for about 10 minutes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't worry about how much progress you make, if you spend a lot of time thinking aloud about a short section, that's fine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You should however, try to read sections continuously for no more than a minute or so before thinking aloud more </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When 10 minutes are up, take three minutes to write down what strategies you were using to interpret and make sense of the text you are reading </li></ul>
  7. 7. Recorder Tasks <ul><li>Listen as the reader is thinking aloud </li></ul><ul><li>Do not interrupt! </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes on the strategies that the reader is using to make sense of the text </li></ul><ul><li>If the reader reads continuously for about 1 minute without interpreting, prompt the reader to think aloud </li></ul><ul><li>When the 10 minutes finish, take three minutes to briefly summarize the strategies that person 1 was using. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What HPT strategies did you use? <ul><li>Restating in plain speech </li></ul><ul><li>Look for facts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are we, what’s going on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differentiation from victim statements vs. fact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing her voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Following a theme </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sarcasm, laughing- critical reading, rejecting the author’s argument </li></ul><ul><li>Using previous knowledge of Russian/Soviet history, connecting to Russian language, broader knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness as connected to Glasnost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connecting to similar situations </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying “propaganda” words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appeal to ideals of UN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making a plea for shared goals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visualizing- connecting to visuals from today, personal connection </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying personal biases </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying missing information, perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logos and Anti-logos </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul>
  9. 9. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With an intellectual debt to Keene and Zimmerman’s Mosaic of Thought </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul>Who wrote it? When? Where? For Whom? What else do we know about this person?
  11. 11. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul>Why was it written? What is the document trying to do? Are their stated and unstated motives?
  12. 12. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul>What is the argument? What is the evidence? Is the writing persuasive? Accurate?
  13. 13. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul>What was going on at the time it was written? What words or phrases would have meant something different at that time?
  14. 14. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul>Are there hidden or secret messages in this source? It the author overt with his or her bias, or subtle, or even sneaky? What can we read between the lines?
  15. 15. Get the SPACSS on the source! <ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Subtext </li></ul><ul><li>So What? </li></ul>How does this particular document shed light on the broader themes we’re studying? How does it help us understand other sources?
  16. 16. EMABI: Another Primary Source Algorithm <ul><li>Empirical Evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate </li></ul><ul><li>Argument </li></ul><ul><li>Bias </li></ul><ul><li>Insight </li></ul>