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ERIC Number: EJ893818
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Cultivating Critical Thinking: Five Methods for Teaching the History of U.S. Foreign Policy
Peace, Roger
History Teacher, v43 n2 p265-273 Feb 2010
Critical thinking is defined more by what it is not than what it is. It is not rote memorization of dates, facts, and events. Instead, it involves delving into the meaning of historical developments--interpreting, comparing, theorizing, and evaluating--often with the aid of primary sources and multiple secondary sources. Students learn to ask questions about historical information, including how historians have framed that information. In this article, the author offers a synopsis of five methods he has successfully used in teaching about U.S. foreign policy in college-level U.S. history courses. These five methods or approaches are: (1) analyzing historical developments in terms of policymaking decisions; (2) examining public and Congressional debates over policymaking; (3) comparing official rationales and policy results; (4) examining U.S. foreign policies through the eyes of other nations and peoples; and (5) identifying patterns and frameworks for understanding foreign policies. (Contains 6 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A