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ERIC Number: EJ940893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
In Defense of Memorization: The Role of Periodization in Historical Inquiry
Neumann, Dave
Social Education, v75 n4 p210-213, 231 Sep 2011
The author is a master packer. Last summer, anticipating the thousand-mile drive from southern California to Colorado, he packed their Sienna so that everything had its logical place, from the DVDs to the audio books, from the beef jerky to the bottled Starbucks mocha. Of course, at first he had to explain to everyone else where things were, since what seems logical to him isn't intuitive to his family. But once they understood his system, everything was easy to find and, after being used, went back to its well-defined home. The author would like to propose that "periodization" should play a similar role in a history classroom focused on inquiry: a seemingly minor element of an intellectual journey that turns out to make the journey much more enjoyable, as facts and ideas are accessed and placed in appropriate frameworks of meaning. This relatively humble tool represents an important historical thinking skill, even if it doesn't usually get mentioned in texts that address historical thinking. In this article, the author will argue that periodization, which inevitably requires the memorization of dates, is not only compatible with a classroom centered on historical inquiry, but actually an indispensible tool in inquiry. After defining periodization and examining why memorizing some dates is essential, he will explore the connection between periodization and historical inquiry. Then he will illustrate the integration of periodization and inquiry with a description of his own former high school American history class. His hope is that this exploration encourages teachers to reflect on how they might pack information more thoughtfully for a meaningful intellectual excursion. (Contains 12 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A