I just ran across an amazing website devoted to historical thinking. It is called “The Historical Thinking Project” and it is run by Peter Seixas at the University of British Columbia. The project is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage and The History Education Network. It works with teachers and other educators to help promote historical thinking in Canada.
For those of you who are familiar with the scholarship of history teaching and learning, Seixas is the co-editor (with Peter Stearns and Sam Wineburg) of Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. It is a must read for all history teachers.
Seixas and his crew have identified six “historical thinking concepts.” They are:
- Establish historical significance
- Use primary source evidence
- Identify continuity and change
- Analyze cause and consequence
- Take historical perspectives, and
- Understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations.
The website is filled with research, reports, a blog, lessons, and resources. It is clear that Canada’s work in promoting historical thinking skills far outpaces the work being done in this field in the United States (save Sam Wineburg and his colleagues).