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ERIC Number: EJ893820
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Escaping Myopia: Teaching Students about Historical Causality
Waring, Scott M.
History Teacher, v43 n2 p283-288 Feb 2010
There are so many aspects to teaching history that are vital to creating well-rounded historical thinkers, but one of the most fundamental and most overlooked elements is the idea of causality. Far too many students do not understand the idea of causation, that there are multiple reasons for why historical events occurred and transpired in the way in which they did, and that there is not a neat and linear progression from start to finish for a historical event. Creating multiple and frequent opportunities for students to engage in authentic historical inquiry helps students to escape this simple, myopic way of thinking that far too many students have become accustomed to utilizing when learning and thinking about historical events. Necessary for contextualizing beginnings and ends, chronological thinking is a major element to enabling students to reason historically. Without a clear understanding of chronology, when events occurred, and in what order, it is extremely difficult for students to compare and contrast events within a chosen time period, to relate studies to the present day, or to be able to have the capacity to explain probable causes. Chronology and causation are integral and intertwined elements in enabling students to organize their historical thinking and construct plausible historical narratives. In this article, the author shares one of the most effective methods he uses to expose students to the idea of causation. (Contains 10 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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A