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Critical Thinking Resources

Articles on Teaching Critical Thinking in History

  1. Alkana, L. K. (2011). What Happened on 9/11? Nine Years of Polling College Undergraduates: "It was always just a fact that it happened.". History Teacher, 44(4), 601-612.

    This study goes over a questionnaire the author devised and distributed to a college history class in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 and studies the results of these questionares. With these results, the author offers a comparison of the results and discusses the differences in perception among the participating students of what occurred during the attacks.

  2. Baker, B., & Mastin, S. (2012). Did Alexander really ask, 'Do I appear to you to be a bastard?'. Teaching History, (147), 8-13.

    The articles demonstrates how ancient texts can be both uniquely demanding and fascinating due to the fact that they require students to both think about sources as evidence and think about sources as subsequent interpretations.

  3. Calkins, S. (2009). Who Writes the Past? Student Perceptions of Wikipedia Knowledge and Credibility in a World History Classroom. Journal on excellence in college teaching. 20(3) 123-143 Request this article through Interlibrary Loan

    An inquiry-based learning project is dicussed, which required students in a first-year world history course to reflect on and analyze the nature of the knowledge found in Wikipedia. Examined students' reflections on issues of plagiarism, responsibility, and whether Wikipedia qualifies as a scholarly source.

  4. Dotolo, F., & Nicolay, T. (2008). Approaching History through Literature: Generating Knowledge through Writing and Inquiry in a Cross Disciplinary First-year Learning Community. History Teacher, 42(1), 25-34.

    Article discusses scaffolded or tiered series of writing assignments designed for first year students at Saint John Fisher College. The assignments were created to address the disparity in the skills of entering students and the goals of the first-year learning community program.

  5. Doris J. M. (2008). Primary Source Research and the Undergraduate: A Transforming Landscape. Journal of Archival Organization. 6(1), 47-70. DOI: 10.1080/15332740802235125

    Students arrive at a college campus familiar with primary source documents but are often unprepared when it comes to search finding aids or understanding archival collections. This review of archival, educational, and historical literature presents information about new teaching methods, the scholarship of teaching and learning, digitization efforts, and the efforts by archivists to more fully understand and accomodate new users.

  6. Olwell, R. (2002). Building Higher-Order Historical Thinking Skills in a College Survey ClassTeaching history (Emporia, Kan.) 27(1). 22-32.

    History professors strive to help students "develop the ability to think clearly" about the material they research, but critical thinking about the past is the both slippery to define and difficult to teach. This article, discusses how the author structured his survey class assignments to move students further along in their historical thinking and critical thinking.

  7. Ormond, B. (2011). Enabling Students to Read Historical Images: The Value of the Three-Level Guide for Historical Inquiry. History Teacher, 44(2), 179-190.

    Ormand discusses the ways she has utilized the Three-Level Guide literacy strategy in the use of visual images while teaching her students about New Zealand' shitory. She also describes how the approach encourages students to use higher-order thinking skills while providing an example of the applicability of this method to the image "The Double Deliverance" by Samuell Ward.

  8. Peace, R. (2010). Cultivating critical thinking: Five methods for teaching the history of U.S. foreign policy. History Teacher, 43(2), 265-273.

    This article, the author offers a synopsis of five methods used in teaching U.S. foreign policy in college-level U.S. history courses.These methods are: analyzing historical developments in terms of policymaking decisions; examining public and Congressional debates over policymaking; comparing official rationales and policy results; examining U.S. foreign policies through the eyes of other nations and peoples; and identifying patterns and frameworks for understanding foreign policies.

  9.  Schuster, L.A.(2008). Working-Class Students and Historical Inquiry: Transforming Learning in the Classroom. The History Teacher. 41(2) 163 - 178.

    The author draws on her personal experience teaching history at Rhode Island College to discuss the rising issue of students coming to their first year of college with minimal essay wrtining experience and explains the importance and benefits to teaching students to think critically about the informaiton involved in their research and find their own meaning and interpretations of the material they study.

  10. Warren, W.J. (2004). Improving Critical Thinking Skills in the United States Survey Course: An Activity for Teaching the Vietnam War. The History Teacher. 37(2). 193-209.

    This article argues the case that history textbooks are no longer a sufficient form of instruction by themselves, and promotes the use of e-resources (such as internet and media) as well as education through critical thinking and instruction. The articles utilizes the implementation of such practices in history courses (dubbed the "immersion approach") and have found it to have a great deal of success.

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