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Patrick Halbrook

Teaching History - "Reading Like a Historian"

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Teaching history at the logic/rhetoric level means going beyond the grammar-stage memorization of facts to the development of historical thinking skills. One such skill is the ability to accurately understand and interpret historical documents.

A resource I've found interesting and helpful is Stanford University's "Reading Like a Historian" resources. The authors focus on teaching students skills such as sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, and close reading (see the chart attached to this post as a PDF).

Has anyone else used these resources before? If so, what did you think of them?

What aspects of Stanford's "Reading Like a Historian" approach seem most in alignment with our goals as classical educators? What aspects are not?

Historical Thinking Chart.pdf

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I used this resource recently when discussing the Stamp Act. I found it very helpful to have several relevant documents compiled along with the lesson plan on guiding the students.

I think it aligns with our goals as classical educators because it encourages students to contextualize the documents and the authors. I'm constantly pushing my students to adopt a historical perspective so they can empathize with people in the past. Any resource that helps with this goal is useful.  

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