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  1. WHAT IS HISTORY? Seeing the Future through the Past

  2. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to: • define history and the historical method • understand the importance of chronology, and cause and effect relationships as tools in analysing history • describe the usefulness of studying change and continuity in history • compare and contrast key interpretations of world history Learning goals

  3. Cicero, Roman orator and philosopher THEY SAID IT…“To know nothing of the past is to remain forever a child.”

  4. Write the title ‘History’ in the center of a piece of chart paper in big bold letters • Working with your ‘elbow partners’, write down all the things related to the study of history that you can think of - cover the page!!! ex. rise and fall of empires, economics, politics… History – what do you know?

  5. What is your understanding? How would you define it? • Does the past repeat itself? (Amnesiac comparison) • Past as nourishment for the present and future • Is it the event? Or the retelling of the event? • Where do we get our history from? Associated problems? • Simplified definition: {History is the study of past events, that involve or affect people, based on the interpretation of evidence} History – in depth

  6. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Author, Millenium THEY SAID IT…“The thing about short-term predictions is that they can only ever be true in the short term. If you want long-term predictions you have to look deep back into the past of human experience…”

  7. Historical schools of thought SGA – Small Group Activity

  8. Working with a different partner, examine 1 theory of history and prepare a short explanation for the rest of the class. • Start with the Historian/School of History, and then give your interpretation of their theory • Be prepared to provide an example and a key question you have about this theory to help everyone understand. • Note – there will be more than 1 group per topic, so be prepared to discuss your theory with others and debate • You will have approx. 10 minutes to complete this activity…GO!!! SGA – small group activity instructions

  9. Using current events/hot topics of today can enhance our study of the past • For history to have value in our lives, it must help us prepare for the present and future • What are some of the hot topics around the world today? In Canada? (ex’s. the economy; China - human rights; terrorism; religion (Quebec); science and technology; tension in the Middle East; intellectual property and the internet; environmental concerns…) Using the present to understand the past

  10. Modern views of the history in flux (changing) • Do the great works of literature really reflect society at the time? Who was writing them? (ex. bias, Christian/feminist/elite values…) • How can we possibly know it all? We can’t!!! • Historical record will never be complete – must piece together the remnants and speculate • No irrefutable body of truth out there – must always challenge and question – historian’s job! Reconsidering History

  11. Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company THEY SAID IT…“History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.”

  12. CHANGE CONTINUITY Certain institutions have reinforced continuity (ex. Constitutionsand parliamentary systems for democracy) Other agents: religion; family; culture Helps us stay connected to the past • Without change, no history • History is study of change over time • Must ask ‘why’? • Search for causes and consequences of events through data Change and continuity in History

  13. Where should a course in modern Western and world history begin? • Must build foundations for understanding (ex. to understand the French Revolution, must learn of Europe’s medieval heritage) • Chronology – putting things in proper order – essential to give us sign-posts in history • Labels are problematic because era’s/movements are often intertwined (ex. Scientific Revolution – Enlightenment – American/French Revolutions…) • History does not unfold in neat packages – it overlaps Chronology, cause and effect in history

  14. Historical insight acts as a guide to the future • Consider what you are learning about yourself and your society as you progress • History is about the ‘spirit of the past’ (see the essence of the Renaissance in the face of the Mona Lisa) • Studying the triumphs and tragedies helps make sense of our world today To Conclude…