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Understanding Historical Thinking Standards

Understanding Historical Thinking Standards


In this lesson you will learn the basics of the Historical Thinking Standards

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Source: Greek Structures, Pixabay,; Books, Pixabay,; Newspaper, Pixabay,; Glasses, Pixabay,; Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,; Ballot, Morguefile,; Timeline, Morguefile,; Classroom, Morguefile,

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Hi everyone and welcome to today's lesson. My name is Gino Sangiuliano, and the topic we'll be covering today is Understanding Historical Thinking Standards.

For many the dawn of history class in school may look eerily similar to that of Ben Stein's portrayal of an economics teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Bueller, Bueller. A teacher standing in front of the room reciting a series of dates and facts to be memorized by students who are sitting in rows. Sadly, this was true for me as a student in the 1980s. In fact, it was actually one of the experiences that made me want to go into education. Because I knew that if I ever became a teacher I'd never subject my students to that.

The Historical Thinking Standards were developed out of the University of California of Los Angeles. The purpose was to improve the way students think in historical terms. They came up with five behaviors that will help students to do this. They are asking questions, seeking evidence, referring to primary and secondary sources, evaluating data, and considering historical context.

Students are encouraged to do all this to develop their understanding of historical events and people. Within the standards there are five interconnected dimensions of historical thinking. We're going to go through each one of them. The first being chronological thinking.

This refers to the student's ability to place events in the context of the time period in which they occurred. Next, historical comprehension. This is how well students understand the details of the historical event being covered. Given their understanding, students need to learn how to analyze and interpret a historical event in order to fully process it. This is historical analysis and interpretation.

Another one of the dimensions of historical thinking is the ability of students to conduct historical research. Finally, how well students analyze and process the information in order to make decisions going forward in their lives. This is historical issues analysis and decision making.

Unlike other subject areas, history, social studies, and geography have multiple standards sources from which to select. And this is why using the Historical Thinking Standards framework is important.

Some final thoughts. The historical Thinking Standards align to history, social studies, and geography standards. They promote the skills necessary to think like a historian. The standards support teachers and unit and lesson design in the social studies classroom. The dimensions of the Historical Thinking Standards connect to the content being studied, and are not studied independent of the content. For more information on this, visit the website listed at the bottom of this page.

So in conclusion, we opened up by discussing the origin of the Historical Thinking Standards and went through the interconnected dimensions of the Historical Thinking Standards.

And now some food for thought. How might you encourage your students to begin to think like a historian across different subject areas? Now it's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section will be super helpful. The section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description, so you can easily target the resources you want.

That's all for this lesson. Thanks for watching, we'll see you next time.

Notes on "Understanding Historical Thinking Standards"

(00:00-00:11) Intro

(00:12-00:40) Anyone? Anyone?

(00:41-01:17) Historical Thinking Standards

(01:18-02:13) Interconnected Dimensions

(02:14-02:59) Considerations and Final Thoughts

(03:00-03:42) Summary/Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Introduction to Standards in Historical Thinking

This is UCLA's History site, the official site of the historical thinking standards. These standards can be used with any history, social studies or geography standards and emphasize the skills necessary for students to think like an historian. By clicking on the history standards tab, you will find the national history standards. In addition, you will find a valuable resource aligning the history standards with the CCSS.

What is Historical Thinking?

There are so many history standards. Combine that the addition of the historical thinking standards and the related CCSS and aligning lessons and curriculum can become overwhelming. TeachingHistory.Org offers practical strategies on incorporating the standards lessons and curriculum. Of particular interest, scroll down to watch videos of historical thinking in action in classrooms.