Historical Thinking / Edition 1

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Overview

Since ancient times, the pundits have lamented young people's lack of historical knowledge and warned that ignorance of the past surely condemns humanity to repeating its mistakes. In the contemporary United States, this dire outlook drives a contentious debate about what key events, nations, and people are essential for history students. Sam Wineburg says that we are asking the wrong questions. This book demolishes the conventional notion that there is one true history and one best way to teach it.

Although most of us think of history-and learn it-as a conglomeration of facts, dates, and key figures, for professional historians it is a way of knowing, a method for developing an understanding about the relationships of peoples and events in the past. A cognitive psychologist, Wineburg has been engaged in studying what is intrinsic to historical thinking, how it might be taught, and why most students still adhere to the "one damned thing after another" concept of history.

Whether he is comparing how students and historians interpret documentary evidence or analyzing children's drawings, Wineburg's essays offer "rough maps of how ordinary people think about the past and use it to understand the present." Arguing that we all absorb lessons about history in many settings-in kitchen table conversations, at the movies, or on the world-wide web, for instance-these essays acknowledge the role of collective memory in filtering what we learn in school and shaping our historical thinking.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books
Arguing that we all absorb lessons about history in many settings, these essays acknowledge the role of collective memory in filtering what we learn in school and shaping our historical thinking. An interesting read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566398565
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 5/11/2001
  • Series: Critical Perspectives On The P Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 212,918
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding Historical Understanding
Pt. I Why Study History?
1 Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts 3
2 The Psychology of Teaching and Learning History 28
Pt. II Challenges for the Student
3 On the Reading of Historical Tests: Notes on the Breach Between School and Academy 63
4 Reading Abraham Lincoln: A Case Study in Contextualized Thinking 89
5 Picturing the Past 113
Pt. III Challenges for the Teacher
6 Peering at History Through Different Lenses: The Role of Disciplinary Perspectives in Teaching History 139
7 Models of Wisdom in the Teaching of History 155
8 Wrinkles in Time and Place: Using Performance Assessments to Understand the Knowledge of History Teachers 173
Pt. IV History as National Memory
9 Lost in Words: Moral Ambiguity in the History Classroom 217
10 Making (Historical) Sense in the New Millennium 232
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2007

    An eye opening read!

    This book is a must for read for any future or current history teachers. Sam Wineburg addresses the problems he sees in the way many students currently approach historical thinking as well as ways teachers can emphasize engaging students in thinking historically in the classroom. Wineburg also provides many wonderful ideas and activities that I can include in my teaching in the future. An excellent read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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