History Textbooks

Exploring the Pedagogical Nature of Historical Texts: Implications for Classroom Teaching

"History, we all know, is the study of the past. As students pursue their history education, they encounter a multitude of textbooks depicting different eras and, in the case of better history classrooms, also a variety of primary and secondary sources from which to gain a more robust understanding of the complexity of the past and the various interpretations given to it. The latter is an important process that moves beyond simply memorizing facts to an endeavor involving, among other things, discerning fact from opinion, corroborating information, contextualizing that information in the period in which it was written, comparing interpretation across multiple sources, and ascertaining the credibility of sources and its utility in exploring a particular topic. Comparing and corroborating sources and ascertaining their credibility not only helps gain a fuller understanding of the past; it also introduces the very idea that history is contested, that it is constructed (made), and that it carries with it particular assumptions and perspectives about the world it attempts to depict."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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