Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century

Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century

by Stephane Levesque

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Overview

Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century by Stephane Levesque

Two simple but profound questions have preoccupied scholars since the establishment of history education over a century ago: what is historical thinking, and how do educators go about teaching it? In Thinking Historically, Stéphane Ltévesque examines these questions, focusing on what it means to think critically about the past. As students engage in a new century already characterized by global instability, uncertainty, and rivalry over claims about the past, present, and future, this study revisits enduring questions and aims to offer new and relevant answers.

Drawing on a rich collection of personal, national, and international studies in history education, Ltévesque offers a coherent and innovative way of looking at how historical expertise in the domain intersects with the 'pedagogy of history education.' Thinking Historically provides teacher educators, and all those working in the field of history education, ways of rethinking their practice by presenting some of the benchmarks, in terms of procedural concepts, of what students ought to learn and do to become more critical historical actors and citizens.

As questions regarding history education compel educators with greater force than ever, this study explores different ways of approaching and engaging with the discipline in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442610996
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 10/17/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stéphane Lévesque is an associate professor of History Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

Table of Contents

Foreword
PETER SEIXAS

Acknowledgments

  1. Introduction
  2. The Nature of History and Historical Thinking
  3. What Is Important in the Past? - Historical Significance
  4. What Changed and What Remained the Same? - Continuity and Change
  5. Did Things Change for Better or Worse? - Progress and Decline
  6. How Do We Make Sense of the Raw Materials of the Past? - Evidence
  7. How Can We Understand Predecessors Who Had Different Moral Frameworks? - Historical Empathy
  8. Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What People are Saying About This

Keith C. Barton

'Thinking Historically draws together a great many ideas about the nature of historical thinking and applies them to contemporary history education. Stéphane Lévesque shows a much wider familiarity with work on the theoretical foundations of history than many others writing in the field. He cites a wider variety of sources, includes more diverse perspectives, and brings new voices into the discussion of the aims and methods of historical learning. This book will be useful for teacher-educators, thoughtful history teachers, and anyone else interested in the intellectual foundations of history education.'

Bruce Van Sledright

'This volume offers a panoply of references to some of the best scholarship on historical thinking offered up by both history education researchers and historians. Stéphane Lévesque draws from empirical studies as well as from the discipline of historical thinking to create an important synthesis. From this comes a clearer understanding of how the foci of historical thinking come together and overlap. Lévesque's range of ideas is outstanding and the array of references and connections is unmatched by any other volume in the field.'

From the Publisher

'Thinking Historically draws together a great many ideas about the nature of historical thinking and applies them to contemporary history education. Stéphane Lévesque shows a much wider familiarity with work on the theoretical foundations of history than many others writing in the field. He cites a wider variety of sources, includes more diverse perspectives, and brings new voices into the discussion of the aims and methods of historical learning. This book will be useful for teacher-educators, thoughtful history teachers, and anyone else interested in the intellectual foundations of history education.'

'This volume offers a panoply of references to some of the best scholarship on historical thinking offered up by both history education researchers and historians. Stéphane Lévesque draws from empirical studies as well as from the discipline of historical thinking to create an important synthesis. From this comes a clearer understanding of how the foci of historical thinking come together and overlap. Lévesque's range of ideas is outstanding and the array of references and connections is unmatched by any other volume in the field.'

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Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
edoupe More than 1 year ago
In his book, Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century, Stéphane Lévesque explores the rationale for, and application of, the benchmarks of historical thinking and their ability to equip students with habits of mind beneficial to life in the 21st century.  Recognizing the current deficit of inquiry and investigation in history classrooms, he makes a case for shifting emphasis from textbook-based constructions of a singular unified narrative of the past to providing students with the tools to enable them to construct pluralist historical interpretations using primary sources. Throughout the book, Lévesque emphasizes the importance of teaching historical thinking concepts so to properly prepare students to perform the level of critical thinking necessary for life in a world of global instability and uncertainty with ubiquitous claims to the past, present, and future. With this urgent concern underpinning the content of each chapter, he advises history educators in how to move from history education as memory-history to history education as disciplinary-history, exploring the points in which historical study and teaching history intersect.  Lévesque’s analysis of the value of historical thinking hinges upon the utility of the benchmarks of historical thinking—historical significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspective, and the ethical dimension—to make students into critical thinkers, but only addresses other benefits in terms of gathering information, forming interpersonal relationships, etc., in a limited fashion, if at all. His work is a comprehensive summary of the elements of disciplinary-history and a guide for history teachers looking to include more historical thinking exercises into their lessons, but falls short of making a powerful case for the need for more history in school curriculum and the essential service the benchmarks of historical thinking provide young people and the 21st century societies in which they live.