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ERIC Number: EJ812509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7996
Teaching the Skill of Contextualizing in History
Reisman, Avishag; Wineburg, Sam
Social Studies, v99 n5 p202-207 Sep-Oct 2008
"Contextualization", the act of placing events in a proper context, allows teachers to weave a rich, dynamic portrait of a historical period for their students. As teachers strive to identify enduring themes and patterns, they must teach students to appreciate the particular policies, institutions, worldviews, and circumstances that shape a given moment in time. However, contextualized historical thinking runs counter to the narratives and frameworks that many students bring to class. Not only have many young people internalized timeless, psychologized notions of why people behaved as they did in the past, but they have also absorbed powerful stories through popular culture. Challenging long-standing historical frameworks takes time, and educators must give students multiple opportunities to practice and apply their new knowledge and skills. In this article, the authors describe three activities that help students think contextually as they read historical documents: (1) providing background knowledge, (2) asking guiding questions, and (3) explicitly modeling contextualized thinking. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A