Elementary teachers, for example, still had to have only a normal university degree, accompanied by a one-year teaching certificate. In addition, the widely influential book of psychologist Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education, led to unexpected transformations in the teaching of subjects. The central claim of Bruner is that the structure of 'any subject [or discipline] can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development.
Many 'neoprogressive history' educators hoped that these three fac-. The new history unquestionably provided new approaches to and findings about the past and revisited established assumptions and conclusions seen as unprobiemafic in political history. But this diversification among historians also led to a specialization of the profession. Historians gradually ceased to view themselves as public intellectuals and began to see themselves more as disciplinary experts in their own area of specialization.
As one of the few remaining historians involved in school-history reform put it in the late s, 'Most disturbing to us was the difficulty we historians had in coming up with a rationale for history in the schools that was clear and convincing even to ourselves We became aware that our heartfelt declamations about "historical wisdom" and "a sense of the past" didn't convey very much. Teachers have employed more personalized approaches and child-centred pedagogy, with greater attention in the classroom to students' own ideas, preconceived notions, and structures of understanding. Equally important, new findings in psychology pointed to the inefficacy of focusing on a standard theory of instruction and learning and the benefits of 'generating theories of the middle range, narrower and more provisional theories that applied to the teaching of a particular subject.
Introduction 13 focused on a variety of school subjects, from physics to literacy, with inadequate reference to history. The recent interest of history educators and psychologists is refreshing and has fulfilled an urgent need for educational reform. But their findings and conclusions are still limited in scope and perhaps too tentative to generate any clear theory of school-history learning, even more so in their effects on students' progress in learning to think historically.
As history educator M. Jeffreys once put it, 'Quite apart from keeping his knowledge up to date, the teacher especially if he is an Honours graduate in history has the grave disadvantage of having intensively studied a great deal of history which is of very little use to children, while he remains ignorant of much that would appeal to his pupils. The temptation to unload on to a junior form the history which the teacher has learnt at the university On the contrary, strong advocates of disciplinary thinking in education, such as Bruner, were often unfamiliar with the history discipline, even hesitant about its overall place in the curriculum.
As Bruner put it, 'History, sociology, anthropology, economics and political science may for convenience be separated as academic disciplines but they all deal with a single thing: the behavior of man in society. Accordingly we propose to teach them jointly, not separately. Perhaps more puzzling are the recent research findings revealing that even the best-qualified history teachers - with graduate degrees in history - do not necessarily engage their students in disciplinary historical thinking, so busy are they covering content for board and state examinations and controlling students' behaviours.
It has been part of the conversation in history education for over a century, as evidenced below in the report of the American Historical Association on history in the schools: The chief object of every experienced teacher is to get pupils to think properly after the method adopted in his particular line of work; not an accumulation of information, but the habit of correct thinking, is the supreme result of. All this simply means that the student who is taught to consider political subjects in school, who is led to look at matters historically, has some mental equipment for a comprehension of the political and social problems that will confront him in everyday life, and has received practical preparation for social adaptation and for forceful participation in civic activities.
These days, this domain-specific way of knowing the past is en vogue in educational discourse. Clearly, educators cannot, as Bruner observed fifty years ago, hold students to the standards and thinking of disciplinary experts. In fact, there is no evidence suggesting that educators should do so.
Yet, it is equally fair to claim that the practice of the discipline can serve as a benchmark for what might be considered sophisticated historical thinking. As distinguished French historian Fernand Braudel once pronounced, history as a discipline 'cannot be understood [or explained] without practising it.
Historian Richard Evans argues, 'The notion of scientific history, based on the rigorous investigation of primary sources, has been vehemently attacked. Increasing numbers of writers on the subject deny that there is any such thing as historical truth or objectivity - both concepts defended, in different ways, by Carr as well as Elton. The question is now not so much "What is History? Or, is it about a critical inquiry about the collective past?
If it is the latter, what are the concepts and knowledge of the past that students should learn and master in order to think historically? What abilities do they need to practise history? To date, educators have provided few clear or definitive answers, especially in North America.
Perhaps much of the pedagogical problem, a Canadian educator recently acknowledged, 'comes from not understanding history as a discipline. Traditionally, the focus of school history has been on students' mastery of the 'substance' of history the official narratives , without understanding the process through which historians come to acquire and develop knowledge of the past, with the result that students have tended to accept the epistemologically naive view of history. The next section of chapter 2 examines the nature of historical knowledge by developing a useful distinction, initially proposed by history educator Peter Lee, between the 'substantive' first-order and 'procedural' second-order knowledge of history.
Disagreements in history education often arise from a misunderstanding or failure to define these different ideas in history. I hope to show that considering history in both its substantive and its procedural knowledge can help clarify the notion of historical thinking and the too-often-differing learning expectations of ministry officials, teachers, students, historians, and other agents in history education. The difference between substantive and procedural knowledge can be seen as one between the substance, or 'content,' of the past what history is about: wars, revolutions, women, workers, etc.
These concepts e. This information and these accounts delivered to students typically represent the substantive knowledge of the 'sport. However, they do not and cannot make intelligent 'players' - n o matter how self-motivated and engaged they are. What they need as well is to master and appropriate the pro-. Put differently, watching amateur or professional basketball or hockey players on television can stir up the crowd and motivate novices, but there is clearly no guarantee of novices' understanding or ability to play the game. This sports analogy shows all the challenges involved in considering a complex and intellectually sophisticated discipline such as history.
Without procedural thinking, students are left passively absorbing the narratives and viewpoints of authorities, too puzzled or indifferent to use the tools and mechanisms for making sense of the past. Thus, students cannot practise history or even think critically about its content if they have no understanding of how one constructs and shares historical knowledge. More specifically, the second part of chapter 2 introduces the following procedural concepts: Historical significance Continuity and change Progress and decline Evidence Historical empathy.
In chapters 3 to 7,1 present these concepts and explore ways of employing them in history education through sets of essential questions. It should be noted that the distinction I am drawing between substantive and procedural knowledge is highly theoretical. Historians would certainly agree that there are many fuzzy boundaries between them in practice.
However, separating them serves the analytical and pedagogical purposes of this book. Contact with the past extends the experience of each individual, enriches his mind and gives him points of comparison which can guide his present judgment and his future actions. The lessons of history are of use not only to the politician but also to the ordinary citizen; they give him some idea of collective behaviour, help him to see contemporary problems in perspective and sharpen his social perception and political outlook.
They also provide a firmer basis for freedom, developing his social conscience and political judgment. What may appear to be selfevident to a twenty-first-centuTy educator was, in many ways, revolutionary at the time. Instead of reinforcing the long-established religious and patriotic memory-history that was in place in the province - as well as in many other jurisdictions - the members of the Commission took another side on the struggle over the nature of history and how it should be used and taught in the classroom.
Rejecting the traditional nation-building approach to history, the members of the Commission did not want students to be inspired simply by the heroic exploits of French Canadian martyrs who struggled for the survival of the Canadian in British North America. Instead, they proposed to redefine the very nature of history as a discipline that 'aims to develop the human. The goal was no longer to perpetuate la survivance of a mythical past but to prepare students for the demand, in a changing world, for critical and educated citizens.
Teachers were no longer expected to deliver a recital of historical facts and figures of the collective past but to prepare students for a more sophisticated critical investigation and analysis of the evidence of the past. Conceivably, the most drastic change was to make history useful, engaging, and relevant to the lives of young Quebecers. The goal was to cultivate an interest in the study of the past and a sense of historical agency and to instil in students an understanding of the connectedness of the past, the present, and the future by making them 'feel a certain presence of the past.
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Vocal and influential critics opposed the implementation of disciplinary-history on various notably, educational and nationalist grounds. Students, it was argued, were immature, not-yet-competent persons, unable to fully grasp the complexity of the world in which they lived and, thus, incapable of learning the methods of history. On another, more emotionally powerful ground, there was growing fear, particularly among the new Quebec nationalists, that such an approach to the collective past would undermine the survival of the Canadiens - now referred to as Quebecois - and challenge their historical struggle for national recognition and sovereignty.
Even today, much of the debate over school history suffers from the same flaws. Memory fashioners criticize the emphasis on disciplinary-history for its soi-disant damage to the civic and socializing mission of public schooling, whereas historians - at least those still involved in the discussion - claim that the discipline has its own intrinsic purpose, that is, the study of the past for its own sake, without regard for any other aim.
Using a variety of historians and philosophers of history, notably Leopold von Ranke, I show that although there are disagreements about the nature and role of the discipline, the same scientific me'thods developed over. Building on this conception of history, J then present, in the second part, my own conception of historical thinking. To do so, I begin by discussing a model of historicalknowledge development, based on two interrelated forms of historical knowledge: substantive and procedural knowledge.
Then I present a colligatory set of history benchmarks and competences, defined by five procedural concepts found in the scholarly practice of history. The discussion of this chapter - and by extension, subsequent ones deals primarily with procedural ideas, ideas about how to think historically.
It focuses on what historical thinking entails for our understanding of the discipline and its impact on history education, not so much on the cognitive processes involved in thinking historically. Despite this qualification, 1 hope to show that my conception of history and these concepts can stimulate the development of historical thinking in schools and better equip students with 'the rules of the game' so they can make sense of the conflicting views of history they encounter in and outside their classrooms.
Too often, the current discussion among educators has taken the simplified form of supposing an unbridgeable gap of 'content' versus 'skills' or of the realms of historical fact versus the processes of mastering these indisputable facts. The result is that, to this day, there is no clear consensus' on its exact definition and justification, particularly not in the schools.
The problem, as historian E. Carr cautiously observes, comes from the fact that the answers to the question 'What is history? His successor, TTvucydides, also offered passionate stories of major events of his own time, notably the Peloponnesian War. Although Thucydides found Herodorus's explanations insufficient and biased, both historians have been under serious attack for representing the past in imaginary ways, by often using fictional sources to supplement actual documentary and oral evidence.
The Nature of History and Historical Thinking 21 during the course, it was hard for me, when I heard them myself, and for any others who reported them to me to recollect exactly what had been said. I have therefore put into the mouth of each speaker the views that, in my opinion, they would have been most likely to express, as the particular occasions demanded, while keeping as nearly as I could to the general purport of what was actually said. Building on the rationalist belief of the Enlightenment that human rational thinking as opposed to God's sacred purposes in the human world could explain human societies, a branch of pioneer historians, initially located in Germany, reassessed the notion of 'historicism,' that is, 'the belief that truth is found in the single, particular object or event, something with its own spatio-temporal location The core of this new scientific approach was to access the primary sources, the relics and records of the past, and verify scrupulously their authenticity.
The Education of Historians for Twenty-first Century
Ranke believed tha t scientific history could only be achieved if the historian, through archival research, could get and rely on the 'purest, most immediate sources' originating at the time. In addition, Ranke maintained that the historian has to study and critically analyse all the sources on the period or event to determine 1 the internal consistency of the sources and thus avoid using forged documents ; and 2 their consistency with other sources of the time corroboration.
Secondary sources, which do not necessarily originate from the period, were to be avoided as much as possible. After gather-. As Ranke explained, in the much-quoted preface of his Histories of the Latin and Germanic Nations from to Geschkhten der romanischen und germanischen Volker von bis , 'To history has been assigned the office of judging the past, of instructing the present for the benefit of future ages.
To such high offices this work does not aspire: It wants only to show what actually happened [wie es eigentlich gewesen]. But whence the sources for such a new investigation? The basis of the present work, the sources of its materia], are memoirs, diaries, letters, diplomatic reports, and original narratives of eyewitnesses; other writings were used only if they were immediately derived from the above mentioned or seemed to equal them because of some original information. French historian Fustel de Coulanges did not hesitate to declare during a public lecture in that 'history is something more than a pastime, that it is not pursued merely in order to entertain our curiosity or to fill the pigeonholes of our memory.
History is and should be a science. A few stand on a higher level in so far as they were really alive to the need of bringing reason and critical doubt to bear on the material, but the systematised method which distinguishes a science was beyond the vision of all, except a few like Mabillon. Erudition has now been supplemented by scientific method, and the change is owed to Germany. Among those who brought it about, the names of Niebuhr and Ranke are pre-eminent. The Nature of History and Historical ITiinking 23 Edward Gaylord Bourne proclaimed in his address before the meeting of the American Historical Association of that It is hardly possible so soon to decide what has been the dominant intellectual characteristic of our century, but certainly, in the increase of positive historical knowledge, the elaboration of sound historical method, the enlargement of the Tange of historical evidence, and especially in the development of the historical way of looking at things, the nineteenth century stands out conspicuous above any century since the Renaissance.
To these immense changes no one contributed so much as Leopold von Ranke, the centenary of whose birth was celebrated last week. Several historians, notably after World War I, did not hesitate to criticize him for his positivistic history. One of the most vocal critics was British historian George Macaulay Trevelyan, grand-nephew of Whig historian Lord Macaulay, who strongly objected to the influence of the German scientific tradition: 'Who is the Mother Country to Anglo-Saxon historians?
Some reply "Germany," but others of us prefer to answer "England.
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We ought to look to the free, popular, literary traditions of history in our own land. Indeed, if Macaulay is no longer seen as the authority in history, even in his native England, he surely epitomizes an important development in the study and writing of national history, the notion of progress.
As a result of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and as part of the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution, the view of history as progress became a dominant trend in historical scholarship - especially so in England. Not only is history seen as the product of historical changes created by human actors and no longer by divine providence , but these changes are advancing in a unique direction in human evolution, that of liberty modernity, and Western civilization.
This view is very perceptible in Macaulay's History of England from the Accession of fames II, where he announced that his focus would not be exclusively on politics, because 'it will be my endeavour to relate the history of the people as well as the history of the government, to trace the progress of useful and ornamental arts. Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce and his English counterpart R. ColHngwood made it clear that historians are guided in their selection of topic and interpretative judgment not only by the sources they select and use but also by their own positionalities, interests, and perspectives.
No document, as close as it was in its origin to the event in question, could tell exactly what the original author thought or believed. Selecting and reading historical sources implies re-enacting in the mind of the historian the thought of the author to empathize , a notion largely overlooked by Ranke.
Carr, and more recently Paul Ricoeur and David Carr have focused more explicitly on narrativism as a method in history and the complexity of the relation between historical facts and the historian's narrative explanation. Indeed, one of the conventional tools for communicating historical interpretations is the 'narrative,' that is, a coherent representation of past human actions as the story of these events. Narratives, as novelists know well, can be either real or imaginary some would say both without losing their internal structure and power.
Yet, the narrative used in history, as Trevelyan once argued, would form a distinct literary genre: 'The appeal of history to us all is in the last analysis poetic. But the poetry of history does not consist of imagination roaming at large, but of imagination pursuing the fact and fastening upon it The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like.
The Nature of History and Historical Thinking 25 ghosts at cockcrow. Can we get rid of narrative in history? Is narrative a fictional imposition on a disorganized past? What is the relation between a narrative and the actions and events it depicts? Are historical actors and events shaped by the form of narrative? Answers to these questions have been offered by different domains and theories of knowledge, including cultural anthropology, linguistics, and postmodernist thought.
It is not necessary here to follow all the debates, except perhaps to note that scholars by and large agree with the general principle that history and narrative are not identical. History can take the form of narrative, but a narrative does not always speak in the name of history, because it is constructed - as opposed to rescued. Put simply, not only can the selected facts be distorted, but their arrangement notably the causal relation between events could be misconstrued by historians, as a result of their own misjudgments or predilections.
As David Thomson observes, 'lAnj interesting and meaningful narrative, as distinct from a mere chronological annal, rests if only implicitly on a whole series of judgments about the relative importance of some events or people in "causing" other subsequent developments.
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So the historian cannot escape the obligation to consider relationships of cause and effect, even though he may often have to confess himself baffled by the problems which they raise. Yet, the application of scientific methods to historical sources was - and still is - a major advance in the discipline. As Tosh observes, '[Ranke] certainly founded the modern discipline of academic history - largely because he developed the techniques of research necessary for the fulfilment of the historicists' programme, especially the use and interpretation of primary documentary sources.
As early as the s, for instance, some historians from. Keatinge, all believed in a theory of school history anchored in the practice of teaching history with primary sources, sometimes referred to as the source method. Not only were history teachers unprepared to accomplish this tour de force, but detractors within the history community simply believed it w a s afolie de grandeur to teach masses of youngsters the complexity of this science.
As prominent British historian G. Elton once argued, School courses of history dominated by the ultimate academic principles involved in the most highly developed forms of historical studies must be thought ill-advised, however honourable. This is not, however, to throw the schools back on producing some inferior kind of history, so that the universities may have a free run On the contrary, what is urgently required is the discovery of an alternative principle by which the study of history at school can be justified and therefore animated, and one, moreover, which is more appropriate to a group of students many of whom are not specialising in history.
One must ask once again just why children and adolescents should be asked to concern themselves with history. As I argue in the next section, the process of studying and communicating knowledge about the past is also applicable to historical thinking in school. Teachers and their students simply cannot make sense of, or even critically employ, historical accounts without some understanding of how one creates these accounts.
It shows the importance of the study of historical knowledge, as well as the dynamic nature of the profession. New ideas, concepts, and theories of history have challenged and gradually changed earlier ortho-. The Nature of History and Historical Thinking 27 doxies. Yet, as useful as they might be, these disciplinary developments do not address the ways students, educators, and historians think historically.
The intellectual process through which an individual masters and ultimately appropriates - the concepts and knowledge of history and critically applies such concepts and knowledge in the resolution of contemporary and historical issues is extremely demanding and complex. In fact, one could argue that school history has typically failed to promote historical thinking because of its persisting and often dogmatic focus on the transmission of memory-history, largely in the form of master narratives.
Limited but growing research indicates, with increasing academic acceptance, that historical thinking is not limited to and is probably not, above all the mastering of factual knowledge of the past, such as dates, names, characters, and events established by authorities in historical accounts. It is also about the self-appropriation of the procedures and concepts that arise in the act of doing history. This type knowledge - commonly referred to in the schools as 'content' - constitutes the foundation of historical thinking.
As Lee observes, 'it is misleading to juxtapose "developing concepts" against "transmitting content. Historical thinking is, indeed, far more sophisticated and demanding than mastering substantive content knowledge, in that it requires the acquisition of such knowledge to understand the procedures employed to investigate its aspects and conflicting meanings.
Without such sophisticated insight into ideas, peoples, and actions, it becomes impossible to adjudicate between competing versions and visions of the past. One can clearly see the power but also the limit of memory-history when the past, to paraphrase Nora, becomes no more than a useful resource of everyday experience, subjected to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting. But this type of disciplinary understanding is only possible and effective if another element in the construction of knowledge is considered; the ability to apply what is learned in other contexts.
Thus, Gardner. In other words, to understand a concept or piece of knowledge is to be able to represent it in more than one way or context. For Gardner, such disciplinary performances occur 'When history students who have studied the French and Russian revolutions are able to discuss the factors that have precipitated a contemporary revolutionary movement and to offer grounded predictions of what is likely to occur during the coming months.
Bruner had already argued some thirty years earlier that the structure of a discipline could best be understood by students through the adequate transfer of training across contexts. He notes that generalizations, notably in history, are highly problematic because of the specificity of historical contexts, something Ranke had already established. The recognition of this limit is not as much a problem for him, because he believes that understanding the fundamentals of a discipline is to be familiar precisely with those instances that cannot be explained by a given mode of knowing - as clearly evidenced in Keegan's introductory remarks on September From this definition, then, it is fair to claim that historical thinking, as presented above, can make an important contribution to democratic citizenship.
Historical knowledge of political, social, cultural, and economical systems overlaps with the democratic knowledge necessary for active citizenship, and hence mastering the knowledge of history, and ultimately the practice of history itself, can allow students to more effectively engage in democratic society, well beyond acquiring a deep sense of patriotism i. According to historian Peter Stearns, history can contribute to democratic citizenship in at least four ways: 1 the study of political institutions; 2 comparative historical analysis; 3 comparisons of past and current events; and 4 development of democratic habits of mind.
The Nature of History and Historical Thinking 29 Given this relationship between history and democratic citizenship, it is no surprise that several jurisdictions have identified history as the subject par excellence to teach citizenship education. Many history teachers already recognize that their mission is highly political. What they choose to teach or not to teach , how they teach it, and what students are expected to do in their classes are all implicitly about politics and power.
Yet, if the attainment of citizenship education goals can be transferred to history education, one nevertheless needs to be careful and put limits on what they can be expected to accomplish. Whereas school history can contribute to citizenship education, education for citizenship does not necessarily support or rely on the standards, procedures, and rationale of history.
Part of the current debate in school history emerges from the failure to make these limits clear. A better understanding of how historical expertise intersects with, but also diverges from, history education may facilitate the discussion. Substantive and Procedural Knowledge of History 'Historians,' VanSledright observes, 'reconstruct some might say create the past based on questions they attempt to answer. Criteria are involved in selecting and reconstructing the past, and these criteria relate to what is considered generally acceptable practice within the field. The first type of historical knowledge focuses on the substance of the past.
It is what historical knowledge is about - the 'content' of history. Substantive knowledge, as discussed in the previous section, has traditionally been framed in narrative form, with alt the consequences of such historiographical 'emplotment. In curricuiar language, this form of historical knowledge is typically found in expectations of students' learning, such as the students' understanding of certain terms, events, phenomena, or personages e.
It is the substantive knowledge that has been the subject of lively debate in various jurisdictions because it is highly political and contentious and frequently misused and justified by competing groups for a variety of collective purposes identity, memory, patriotism, public policy, etc.
The second type of historical knowledge, referred to as procedural, concentrates on the concepts and vocabulary that provide 'the structural basis for the discipline. They are, rather, conceptual tools needed for the study of the past as a discipline and the construction of the content of historical knowledge. Without these concepts, it would be impossible to make sense of the substance of the past, as 'they shape the way we go about doing history.
It is important not to misconstrue the distinction and transitiofi from substantive to structural knowledge as the simplistic dichotomy of content versus skills, as too often happens in school history. It is impossible for students to understand or make use of procedural knowledge if they have no knowledge of the substance of the past. To claim, for example, that there has been remarkable progress in human rights over the last century makes no sense unless one knows some content key dates, events, declarations, charters, etc. To understand the various claims made about the past, therefore, students need to be introduced to the disciplinary concepts and procedures that led to the crafting of these historical claims.
There has been a misleading tendency, even in academic circles, to place substantive and procedural knowledge on a linear scale of historical reasoning, leading to the belief that progress in historical thinking should be from the former to the latter, that is, from. The Nature of History and Historical Thinking 31 lower- to higher-order thinking. This understanding is highly misleading and likely stands behind the rhetorical and unproductive debate over teaching content versus skills in the classroom. Progression in historical thinking ought to be developed simultaneously within each of these domains of knowledge and not from one to the other.
In other words, sophisticated historical thinkers are not those who have successfully moved away from content acquisition to the mastery of procedural knowledge but those who have made significant progress in understanding both the substance of the past and the ideas procedures and concepts necessary to make sense of it. School history can help with this type of progression. In recent years in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific especially, Australia , an interest has grown in teaching students about the procedures and ideas needed to engage in the study of history.
Given the early developments in historiography discussed in section 2. Yet, the terms 'doing history' and 'historical thinking' are now so widespread and en vogue in educational jargon that educators may wonder about their meaning and significance. Clearly, the historical thinking of elementary- and secondary-school students does not and cannot match that of disciplinary experts. VanSledright is thus correct to argue that scholars must not unfairly hold novices to standards of disciplinary expertise.
There is simply no evidence showing that students naturally grow into historians. Historical thinking is, indeed, an unnatural act, to borrow Wineburg's cliche. Nevertheless, it is fair to claim, as Bruner observes, that 'there is a continuity between what a scholar does on the forefront of his discipline and what a child does in approaching it for the first time.
Thinking Historically_ Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century | Historian | Teachers
To this day, the problem in history education has been the failure to understand how educators can improve students' historical thinking by introducing them to disciplinary concepts and procedures allowing for such progression in historical thinking. More focus has been on how students could more successfully acquire knowledge of specific claims about the past i. A student simply cannot, for example, make sense of the Holocaust without being exposed to the concepts of historical significance why is the Holocaust important to study?
How did people feel? How do educators go about using them? As I discuss in the following chapters, historians and philosophers of history have employed procedural concepts for a long time in their works. Yet, the problem has been the absence in the literature of a coherent and explicit articulation of them, particularly for history education purposes.
Even the revolutionary arguments of the 'new history' presented a century ago by Fling and his contemporaries have remained largely silent on procedural knowledge. Because of a drastic change in British history education from memory-history to disciplinary-history in the early 1. This movement was also fuelled by the interests and findings of a highly influential history project established in the s, the Schools' Council History Project SHP. However, if you only think abstractly about which possibility will become a reality, it is not very insightful. It is too mechanical to think that the twenty-first century began in I have a different way of thinking about the twenty-first century and I will present my approach in the following text.
This is how I think, though I am not sure if other historians think the same way. I am of the opinion that the twenty-first century began in the s. One of the reasons why I think this is that if we assume that the twentieth century began around , I still cannot avoid thinking about World War I, whose th anniversary is marked this year.
Therefore, some think that the twentieth century was the age of war. Even when there were no clashes, the Cold War continued for many years and many people claim that the twentieth century was the age of war. Although this way of thinking is not inconceivable, many other movements and trends offering some room for other ways of thinking emerged in the s.
I think that those streams have continued to this day. To put it simply, although we must note that the issues of war, the Cold War and nuclear weapons have remained with us since the s, a new trend also came into being in the s. Of course, the most typical example is globalization in the realm of the economy. Globalization is an international economic trend, but the global economy was led by the United States before the s, and Western Europe also became a major player in the world economy in the s.
The so-called West, or the United States and Europe, were previously leading players in the international economy but such a situation could not be described as globalization. The full-blown globalization of the international economy began with the participation of Japan, which began to build up economic power in the s, China, which entered the international economy in the s, and other countries, such as India and Turkey.
Based on this recognition, I think that the actual trend of globalization began in the s. In addition, in my opinion, energy issues, such as serious cross-border environmental problems and oil crises, which were triggered by environmental pollution, also became increasingly noticeable in the s. Human rights issues also came into the spotlight in many parts of the world. This means that both the Eastern and Western blocs declared that human rights were exceedingly significant.
Although I do not know how seriously they took the issue, at least both the Soviet Union and the United States became increasingly aware of the grave significance of human rights in the coming age. Specifically, the First World Conference on Women was held in Mexico City in to enhance gender equality and the concept of human rights began to materialize.
I also think that the recognition of human rights as an international ideal that could be universally applied to all countries around the world started in the s.
I think that world movements began to change in the s in line with the recognition that multilateral cooperation was very desirable for tackling international challenges, including environmental problems and human rights issues. As for how you should understand this, I think that three points of view are essential to thinking about the world no matter what age you are in, though it may be a little bit of a formalized approach currently. The first focal point is the nation. It is quite natural that you think about every single age through the filter of nation. As long as there are nations in the world, the United States had its own s, China had its own s and Japan had its own s.
Things happened separately in each country. However, at the same time, massive changes occurred in bilateral relationships, including China-Japan and U. After infrequent contact, the United States and China had their first major diplomatic contact and China and Japan also established diplomatic relations. In this sense, the s was a very important decade in terms of international relations as well.
Japan, the United States, and China in the Twenty-First Century: A Historian’s Perspective
For another thing, in recent years, I have become keenly interested in the development of cross-border human connections, that is, relationships at a different level from intergovernmental relations. If you describe intergovernmental relations as international relations, how should you describe cross-border exchanges and connections involving ordinary citizens beyond the framework of intergovernmental relations? This concept is different from internationalism, which is international relations established through various arrangements, such as international law and treaties among many different governments and nations.
I think that civil-level connections, such as cultural and educational exchanges and economic relations, are at a different level from international relations. The forging of those relations has begun between China and the United States and between Japan and China. I have been a university teacher in the United States for many years.
The inflow of Chinese students into U. I no longer teach at Harvard University, but I still have my library study at Harvard. Currently, I see only one Japanese student or even no Japanese students at Harvard and this is always discussed as a serious issue. However, I cannot force young Japanese people to go to American universities and I cannot do anything about the situation.
Certainly, it is now hoped that young Japanese people will look to the outside world. Many young Chinese people are highly motivated to look to the outside world and are willing to take every opportunity to go abroad and go to the United States. On my recent visit to China, I happened to meet a young Chinese person who was eager to study in the United States. In addition, many Chinese university students aspire to study at graduate schools in the United States and Europe. I think that trend began in the s. While I was teaching at the University of Chicago, I saw a gradual increase in students from China and I think that this trend began in or People who were in their twenties at that time are now in their fifties.
Many of those people are still active in the United States and some demonstrate great talents as excellent scholars back in China and Hong Kong. Some Chinese scholars have top-level talent. I have the impression that it was in the s that this trend emerged. I also think that it was in the s that such cross-border, transnational connections at a different level from international relations began to develop. In my opinion, we can find the origins of the twenty-first century in those phenomena.
That is to say, if you focus in particular on the one hundred years from the s to the s, for example, by highlighting the major part of the twentieth century, you can say that the period was the century of international confrontation. For example, if you assume that international disputes, including between Great Britain and Germany, between Germany and France, between Japan and China and between the United States and Japan, had a very strong impact on the international community and history during these one hundred years, we have already begun to see the end of such an age.
Of course, international conflicts will still occur, but World War III is quite unlikely to break out. I am eighty years old now and I can be so irresponsible as to say such a thing because if World War III should break out during the twenty-first century, I will be dead by then. I am totally convinced that there will be no war between China and Japan or between China and the United States in the future.
The reason I think this is that people from these countries are currently closely connected with one another. I pay keen attention to the personal relationships between ordinary Chinese and American people. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students and tourists in the United States have built connections with Americans in many ways. I think that the deeper their relationships become, the more unlikely a war between those countries is to occur, although this way of thinking may be a bit too wishful and optimistic. Although there were some cases of such private-sector connections between Japan and the United States or between China and Japan before World War II, private connections separate from national intention and policy were very weak at that time.
However, things are quite different now. It draws upon a detailed review of the existing studies and data on graduate education and builds upon this foundation with an exhaustive survey of history doctoral programs. This included actual visits to history departments across the country and consultations with scores of individual historians, graduate students, deans, academic and non-academic employers of historians, as well as other stakeholders in graduate education.
As the ethnic and gender composition of both graduate students and faculty has changed, methodologies have been refined and the domains of historical inquiry expanded. By addressing these revolutionary intellectual and demographic changes in the historical profession, The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century breaks important new ground.
Combining a detailed historical snapshot of the profession with a rigorous analysis of these intellectual changes, this volume is ideally positioned as the definitive guide to strategic planning for history departments. It includes practical recommendations for handling institutional challenges as well as advice for everyone involved in the advanced training of historians, from department chairs to their students, and from university administrators to the AHA itself. Philip M.
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