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Class 3: What Historians do and they think historically (Part 2)
the past is not the same as history
o past: what happened
o history: what we share/tell about the evidence of what we think happened
o distance between past and present, what happened vs. today
o choices how to make the past coherent
o interpretive lenses worldview, what stance they will take
substantive vs. procedural historical knowledge
o substantive: relates to the substance (content)
o procedural: relates to tools that help you make sense of history
o can’t know about content without making sense of it can’t do one without the other
historical thinking: act of interpreting and assessing both the evidence from the past that has
been left behind and the narratives that historians and other have constructed from this
o engaging with evidence, making sure it is sound & then using it
o history as an educational (what happened & why draw own conclusions) vs. an
informational (what happened) subject
o history as an inquiry
The 6 Dimensions of Historical Thinking
o too much noise, need to select
o which events are important to know?
o primary (those who were there) vs. secondary sources (those who were not there)
continuity & change
o chronology; periodization; progress & decline
o what has improved/declined?
cause & consequences
o role of human choice
o right or wrong, past or present?
o do you think slavery is wrong because you live today or does the issue transcend time?
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