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ERIC Number: EJ765169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Why Students Don't Get Evidence and What We Can Do about It
Sipress, Joel M.
History Teacher, v37 n3 p351-363 May 2004
Among the greatest frustrations of a teacher of history is the failure of many students, even bright and motivated students, to provide concrete evidence to support their assertions about the past. The problem of evidence is by its nature developmental, and thus not amenable to simple punitive or explanatory approaches. History, as a discipline, asks students to think in new and unfamiliar ways, and so teachers must find ways to help students truly understand and invest in this new way thinking. This article describes the author's redesign of his post-1877 introductory United States history course. The problem, in this case, was to determine why students, even highly motivated students, so often have difficulty engaging in historical argumentation. The method of study was first to redesign the course explicitly around the theme of argument, and then to assess student mastery of the component skills of historical argumentation. By doing so, the author hoped to identify those particular aspects of argumentation that pose the greatest challenge for students and to develop strategies to help students meet these challenges. (Contains 2 tables and 11 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States