Canadian History 30 Historical Thinking
The study and Writing of history • What is history? • History • The record of human activities; the term is usually reserved for those actions considered to be significant for their impact upon societies of that time or later. • A method of inquiry used by historians while investigating and analyzing the past. • Historiography • The writing of history.
The Study and writing of history • Things to be aware of: • Primary Sources • Letters, speeches or reports written by participants or eye-witnesses. Other primary sources include artifacts unearthed by archaeologists, videotapes, recordings and photographs. • Secondary Sources • Books and articles about events or person written by individuals investigating or analyzing that topic. • Bias • A predisposition to support a certain view making it difficult to be objective or impossible to judge fairly. • Ethnocentrism • The belief that one’s own group is superior, leading to the judging of others by the standards of one’s own culture
The study and writing of history • Questions: • Why do we study history? • Early histories are most often the stories of important people; Generals, Monarchs, Explorers, etc. How does today’s history differ? • The writing of history is very difficult and is often subject to bias. Why must true historians remain objective?
Essential Questions Examine the following two sets of questions: • When did Canada enter the First World War? What happened at the Battle of Vimy Ridge? What was the Conscription Crisis? • To what extent did Canada respond effectively to the First World War? Could a Conscription Crisis ever happen again in Canada? Did participation in the First World War do more harm or good for Canada How are the questions similar? How are they different?
Essential Questions • May lead to more questions rather than clear-cut answers • Are open-ended – they do not have one “correct” response and may even have no correct response • Cannot be answered with a “yes” or a “no” or even with a single sentence. • Are thought provoking, requiring you to make choices, decision, and judgments that can be supported by evidence or criteria. Each cluster of this course is based around several essential questions. For example: Cluster 4.2 – How did the establishment of national institutions contribute to defining Canadian Identity?
Thinking Historically • The act of interpreting and assessing evidence from the past, as well as the narratives, or stories, that historians and others have constructed from this evidence. • 6 historical thinking concepts will guide and shape how you think about and study history in this course. They are: • Establishing historical significance • Using primary-source evidence • Identifying continuity and change • Cause and consequence • Taking a historical perspective • Considering the ethical dimensions of history
Historical significance • Make informed and defensible judgments about the historical significance of people and events in the past.
Source evidence • Select, evaluate and interpret primary and secondary source evidence in order to retell and explain the past as objectively and accurately as possible
Continuity and change • Observe and explain continuity and change over time
Cause and consequence • Analyze the multiple causes and consequences of historical events and developments
Historical perspective • Take a historical perspective in order to interpret the past as it may have been experienced by the people who lived in it
Moral dimension • Consider the moral dimension of events in the past and the value judgments that may influence historical account
Interpreting Political cartoons • Purpose of getting viewers to think about a current event or issue. • May use humour but not always • Main goal I generally to present a distinct perspective on a topic and to prompt viewers to see an issue or topic in a new light.
Analyzing political cartoons • Where and when was the cartoon published? • What historical event or issue is the subject of the cartoon? • What action is taking place? • What characters are present? • Caricatures • Groups of people (stereotypes) • Characters as symbols (beaver) • How do they appear? • What words or labels are present? • What do various details contribute to the cartoon? (everything has a purpose) • What parts of the cartoon stand out the most? (size matters)