Historical Thinking (Critical Perspectives On The P) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£19.99
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Historical Thinking and O... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £3.99
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Critical Perspectives on the Past Series) Paperback – 30 Mar 2001


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£19.99
£12.18 £13.00
£19.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Critical Perspectives on the Past Series) + Debates in History Teaching (The Debates in Subject Teaching Series)
Price For Both: £43.38

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £3.99
Trade in Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Critical Perspectives on the Past Series) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £3.99, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S. (30 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566398568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566398565
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"Sam Wineburg has not merely contributed to our understanding of how history is created, taught and learned; he has nearly singlehandedly forged a distinctive field of research and a new educational literature. This volume brings together a decade-long record of conceptual invention and methodological creativity." oLee S. Shulman, President, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University "With this volume, Sam Wineburg firmly established his place as the pre-eminent North American researcher in history education. His chapters range from insightful scholarly mediations to innovative empirical studies. He examines the knowledge and practices of historians, history teachers, and young people, as well as the vibrant field of research that has recently developed around these issues. Historical Thinking makes a vitally important contribution to our understanding of how we think and learn about the past." oPeter Seixas, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Education, University of Brutish Columbia "Historical Thinking is intellectually substantive, integrative, and timely. In the midst of all the talk about new technologies, distance learning, and standardized testing, his fine-grained inquiries into learning and knowledge are a sobering reminder that educators have a lot to learn about learning." oRandy Bass, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, Georgetown University "This is a wide-ranging and at times inspirational work." oHistory of Education "Arguing that we all absorb lessons about history in many settingsoin kitchen table conversations, at the movies, or on the world-wide-web, for instanceothese essays acknowledge the role of collective memory in filtering what we learn in school and shaping our historical thinking." oNew York Review of Books

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Graham on 22 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
An excellent book for history teachers, exploring attitudes toward learning (about) history as well as arguing for teaching students to develop the ability to think historically. For those who think studying history means learning lots of facts, this book argues from the perspective of philosophy of history that we need to teach people to think about how the story of the past shapes our ability to understand the present. Facts have a place in that thinking, but they are not the point of the historical enterprise. This is not new thinking in historical theory, but much that is new for the secondary school curriculum. This book came up on the website BestIntroBook.com as the best introduction to history.
Teaching History: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher
Teaching History: A Reader (Open University)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
An Interview with Sam Wineburg about "Historical Thinking" 27 July 2001
By Judy Lightfoot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Taped to the door of Sam Wineburg's office at the University of Washington's College of Education are paired photos of dogs and their comically similar owners. Professor Wineburg greeted me with a pop quiz: "Which twins look most alike?"
Behind this playful question is an educational psychologist's interest in how people think, especially about history. Wineburg's "Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts" (Temple U. Press, 255 pages, [price]) shows that historical thought is not a natural process: it "goes against the grain of how we ordinarily think, one of the reasons why it is much easier to learn names, dates, and stories than it is to [understand] the past."
Wineburg told me his interest in this subject first awoke when he took a history class he couldn't ace with his good memory. He learned that histories aren't objective summaries of the facts but interpretations and arguments made out of information that's always incomplete. "But how did historians do that?" Wineburg asked. "Their books seemed like products of naturally systematic thought--which wasn't how my mind worked, but maybe I was just dumb!"
Wineburg's research into history and the mind has won many honors during his 12 years at the University of Washington. Through having students and professors think aloud while reading documents, he found that only novices just read something and decide what it means. "A historian's thought process is full of hunches and reverses, constant self-questionings and I-don't-knows," Wineburg explained.
Standardized history tests inhibit this kind of thinking, besides guaranteeing that students will seem vastly ignorant. "Periodically, starting with the first national survey in 1917, Americans have concluded from factual tests that kids don't know history. The conclusion isn't logical." Wineburg smiled wryly. "Kids have just never remembered the facts that adults sitting around a table making up a test say they should remember."
He pulled a U.S. history text from a shelf. "Why not teach how to question the facts? Here's Rosa Parks: 'Tired after a long day's work, she sat down in the front section reserved for whites.' Actually, Parks sat in the middle of the bus, available to anyone unless the front was full. Other accounts have her saying she wasn't especially tired and wasn't sure why she kept her seat when challenged. Did Parks intend an act of civil disobedience? Why do these historians disagree?"
Comparing documents, Wineburg added, "is detective work that kids are usually deprived of. It shows them that no single authority has the whole story, and it raises real questions of meaning." He paused, considering. "Every topic doesn't need endless debate. Students stay engaged once they realize history's not a fixed story they must swallow whole but a way of thinking they can apply to life."
Americans need this way of thinking, Wineburg told me. "We're deluged by conflicting, fragmented information that tries to steer us in particular directions. We need to raise citizens who ask themselves, 'Is this true? Who's saying so? What's the nature of the evidence?' Taught this way, history is a training ground for democracy."
Is such training too hard for schoolchildren? "We underestimate kids' abilities to think. Or we believe their self-esteem depends on having tasks they easily do. But we feel good about ourselves by doing things we thought we couldn't do, with capable people around to pick us up after a tumble and show us our reach can exceed our grasp."
"Historical Thinking" is an academic book, but not daunting or dry, and full of stories any reader can enjoy. Wineburg describes Primo Levi's moving encounter with the student who swore that if sent to Auschwitz he could have escaped. There's a chapter on drawings that schoolchildren made of their mental pictures of Pilgrims, Settlers, and Hippies for one of Wineburg's studies--readers can bypass the statistical tables and walk right into these young imaginations. The high-school history class discussion that veers off the rails is as gripping as well-crafted fiction.
Wineburg's conversation with me was no merely academic exercise either. "History gives us a kind of humility," he mused at one point. "I can read something written in 1860 but not know what it meant to live in 1860. I never lived in a world where you could wake up in the morning and go to an auction and buy people. Studying history, we think our way into what living in that world was like. It's the only form of time travel that exists."
Small wonder that Wineburg was an early winner of the University of Washington's Distinguished Teaching Award.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Historical Thinking: A Must Read for All Teachers of History 24 July 2007
By Jeffrey Hinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a high school teacher of American history I am constantly searching for ways in which to improve my teaching and student learning. After seeing several references in other works to Wineburg's Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts I decided to read the book for myself, as it turns out that decision has proven to be the single best investment in my professional development and my student's ability to grasp the complexities of historical problems. There has been a long standing debate in the field of history education as to the mission of history educators, are we to teach history as a series of factual incidents over a period of time that can be neatly packaged and quantified on standardized tests or are we to teach the process of "doing history?" That is to teach the analysis of historical events usually through primary source documents not as "stuff that happened" but as the complex interaction of people of varied backgrounds with different goals, desires and points of view. As Wineburg points out in his brilliant analysis of how we think about events in the past, history is messy and the "Historical thinking requires us to reconcile two contradictory positions: first our established modes of thinking are an inheritance that cannot be sloughed off, and, second, that if we make no attempt to slough them off, we are doomed to a mind-numbing presentation that reads the present onto the past." Although Historical Thinking is an academic work Wineburg's writing style is accessible and fluent, teachers of history at all levels from the academy to the elementary classroom will benefit from this well written and relevant study.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Best text out there 6 Nov. 2006
By JOrth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about this effort. On the one hand, it is clearly one of the more thoughtful discussions of how we learn and think about history. Several of Wineburg's studies raise serious questions about how we know and discuss history. On the other hand, the book is disjointed and offers little in the way of solution. This is fair enough as Wineburg acknowledges both limitations. But for say ... a Social Science Teaching Methods class, the text is too thick with criticisms and too thin with solutions. What is really needed is a text that translates Wineburg's observations into California Social Science Skills Standards (or equivalent). One that takes knowing history seriously, but offers busy young teachers ways to improve their classrooms.

Whatever its limitations, I'd highly recommend the book to all history teachers. While we may not find "The Solution" we will find productive new approaches to creating our own solutions.
31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Slogging through mud... 12 Jun. 2007
By Danny Boy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I like the ideas in this book and think that the author has presented history professionals with plenty of research about how students and teachers interpret what they learn in their history courses. That said, I don't find this book to be particularly well written. Maybe it's just me, but getting through some of the essays was like slogging through mud... obscure language, lousy sentences, and paragraphs weighed down by too many words. I think most of the essays in this book could have been parred down to two or three pages a piece. So, Sam can think, but he writes like a graduate student who says in fifty words what could be said in ten. In fact, I think I can distill the book down to one (long)sentence: "We can't view or interpret what happened in the past accurately because we weren't there and are too affected by the present; therefore, looking back in time is at best like "looking through a glass darkly."
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Historical Thinking: Training Ground for Democracy 27 July 2001
By Judy Lightfoot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
[Note: This review appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on June 1, 2001. Go to online copy at the newspaper's website ..., or see the text below:
Taped to the door of Sam Wineburg's office at the University of Washington's College of Education are paired photos of dogs and their comically similar owners. Professor Wineburg greeted me with a pop quiz: "Which twins look most alike?"
Behind this playful question is an educational psychologist's interest in how people think, especially about history. Wineburg's "Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts" (Temple U. Press, 255 pages, ...) shows that historical thought is not a natural process: it "goes against the grain of how we ordinarily think, one of the reasons why it is much easier to learn names, dates, and stories than it is to [understand] the past."
Wineburg told me his interest in this subject first awoke when he took a history class he couldn't ace with his good memory. He learned that histories aren't objective summaries of the facts but interpretations and arguments made out of information that's always incomplete. "But how did historians do that?" Wineburg asked. "Their books seemed like products of naturally systematic thought--which wasn't how my mind worked, but maybe I was just dumb!"
Wineburg's research into history and the mind has won many honors during his 12 years at the University of Washington. Through having students and professors think aloud while reading documents, he found that only novices just read something and decide what it means. "A historian's thought process is full of hunches and reverses, constant self-questionings and I-don't-knows," Wineburg explained.
Standardized history tests inhibit this kind of thinking, besides guaranteeing that students will seem vastly ignorant. "Periodically, starting with the first national survey in 1917, Americans have concluded from factual tests that kids don't know history. The conclusion isn't logical." Wineburg smiled wryly. "Kids have just never remembered the facts that adults sitting around a table making up a test say they should remember."
He pulled a U.S. history text from a shelf. "Why not teach how to question the facts? Here's Rosa Parks: 'Tired after a long day's work, she sat down in the front section reserved for whites.' Actually, Parks sat in the middle of the bus, available to anyone unless the front was full. Other accounts have her saying she wasn't especially tired and wasn't sure why she kept her seat when challenged. Did Parks intend an act of civil disobedience? Why do these historians disagree?"
Comparing documents, Wineburg added, "is detective work that kids are usually deprived of. It shows them that no single authority has the whole story, and it raises real questions of meaning." He paused, considering. "Every topic doesn't need endless debate. Students stay engaged once they realize history's not a fixed story they must swallow whole but a way of thinking they can apply to life."
Americans need this way of thinking, Wineburg told me. "We're deluged by conflicting, fragmented information that tries to steer us in particular directions. We need to raise citizens who ask themselves, 'Is this true? Who's saying so? What's the nature of the evidence?' Taught this way, history is a training ground for democracy."
Is such training too hard for schoolchildren? "We underestimate kids' abilities to think. Or we believe their self-esteem depends on having tasks they easily do. But we feel good about ourselves by doing things we thought we couldn't do, with capable people around to pick us up after a tumble and show us our reach can exceed our grasp."
"Historical Thinking" is an academic book, but not daunting or dry, and full of stories any reader can enjoy. Wineburg describes Primo Levi's moving encounter with the student who swore that if sent to Auschwitz he could have escaped. There's a chapter on drawings that schoolchildren made of their mental pictures of Pilgrims, Settlers, and Hippies for one of Wineburg's studies--readers can bypass the statistical tables and walk right into these young imaginations. The high-school history class discussion that veers off the rails is as gripping as well-crafted fiction.
Wineburg's conversation with me was no merely academic exercise either. "History gives us a kind of humility," he mused at one point. "I can read something written in 1860 but not know what it meant to live in 1860. I never lived in a world where you could wake up in the morning and go to an auction and buy people. Studying history, we think our way into what living in that world was like. It's the only form of time travel that exists."
Small wonder that Wineburg was an early winner of the University of Washington's Distinguished Teaching Award.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback