Assessing Historical Thinking
Feb. 13, 2015
Risa Gluskin
York Mills C.I.
Gluskin.ca
Less Is More
• More emphasis on how we
teach
• More exploring through an
inquiry method
• Emphasize why things
happened rather than what
we teach
• Let go of some of the details
• Do more with less
• Avoid “mile wide, inch deep”
disaster
Historical Inquiry
•
Interpretation
– Not always looking for the content of the answer
but for the skill in the answer
As Jill Colyer and Jennifer Watt write in IQ: A Practical
Guide to Inquiry Based Learning, a good inquiry
question is “an invitation to think (not recall,
summarize, or detail).”
Inquiry Skills
formulating questions
gathering and organizing information, evidence, and/or
data
interpreting and analysing information, evidence, and/or
data
evaluating information, evidence, and/or data and
drawing conclusions
communicating findings and/or plans of action
Achievement Chart
Thinking
Application
- use of planning skills (e.g.,
finding appropriate primary
sources)
- use of processing skills
(e.g., interpreting and
analysing, detecting point of
view and bias in primary
sources; formulating
conclusions)
- use of critical/creative
thinking processes (e.g.,
inferring, using historical
thinking)
- application of knowledge
and skills in familiar contexts
(e.g., creating a product
such as a poster)
- transfer of knowledge and
skills to new contexts (e.g.,
applying historical thinking
criteria)
- making connections within
and between various
contexts (e.g., past and
present)
Holocaust and UDHR
Identity, Citizenship, and Heritage: explain how various
individuals, groups, and events, including some major
international events, contributed to the development of
identity, citizenship, and heritage in Canada between
1929 and 1945 (FOCUS ON: Historical Significance;
Historical Perspective)
C3.3 analyse the impact of the Holocaust on Canadian
society and on Canadians’ attitudes towards human
rights (e.g., with reference to Canada’s signing of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Causation
How did the
Holocaust lead to
(cause)
the writing of the
UDHR?
How did this
influence our
view of human
rights?
UDHR Activity
1. Read each article in the first column and
underline key words. In the second column write
examples of how the opposite was true during
the Holocaust. Then make an argument.
UDHR Article
Opposite During Holocaust
3. Everyone has the right to life, Example: one million Jews were shot by
liberty [freedom] and security Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) after
of person [safety].
the Germans invaded the Soviet Union.
Argument: Jews did not have the right to life
or security because the Nazis wanted them
to die.
• 2. Conclusion: Let’s look at the cause and
consequence relationship between the
Holocaust (and WWII) and the writing of the
UDHR.
– Write a one-paragraph reflection on how the
Holocaust led to (caused) the writing of the
UDHR?
Vocabulary Assist
Verbs:
• Contributed to
• Caused
• Led to
• Made people think that
• Caused people to
believe that
• Changed people’s
beliefs about
Nouns:
• Discrimination against
• Persecution
• Murders
• Killing of
• Treatment of
• Problems
• Solutions
• Rights
• Freedoms
My Findings Through Assessment
as Learning of Written Work
Strengths
• They identified the causal
relationship and were able
to explain it using good
examples
Weaknesses
• They had a hard time
completing the worksheet
correctly
Should I have moved on?
1920s Progress and Decline
Histiograph
• Social, Economic, and Political Context: describe some key
social, economic, and political events, trends, and
developments between 1914 and 1929, and assess their
significance for different groups in Canada (FOCUS ON:
Historical Significance; Historical Perspective)
• B1.2 identify some major developments in science and/or
technology during this period, and assess their significance for
different groups in Canada (e.g., the impact of: developments
in transportation and communication, such as those related to
cars, radios, or motion pictures, on the recreational activities
of some Canadians)
Timeline
Activity
• In a group of 5, choose 5 events and/or
developments from the 1920s
• 2 must represent progress, 2 must represent decline
• Find an image to match each one and write a brief,
descriptive caption
• Individually, write a one paragraph conclusion that
sums up the nature of change in the 1920s. How
roaring were the 1920s? Base your answer on your
group’s choices, but answer individually. Make sure
to refer to progress and decline.
Rubric
Achievement
Category
Level 4
Level 1
Application
Conclusion clearly
recognizes that the
twenties were
either roaring or not
depending on the
group of people.
Sophisticated and
deep analysis.
Uses historical
thinking.
Conclusion about
the twenties is
overly simple and
just repeats facts.
Applying historical
thinking (progress
and decline) in
written conclusion.
Dragon’s Den
Assessment As and For Learning
• Assessment comes from the Latin word
assidere, which means “to sit beside or with”
(Lorna Earl, Assessment as Learning, 2003)
• Self-assessment to create self-awareness
– At beginning of course especially
• To create a baseline and set goals
– “Overemphasis on the product may devalue the
essential experiences of the process of inquiry.”
(Jill Colyer and Jennifer Watt, IQ, 2014)
Critical Thinking and Criteria
• Importance of criteria
– Goes well with significance
• first guidepost is that significance resulting in change is
measured by profundity, quantity and durability of
change
– Part of critical thinking is avoiding random
thinking
• Knowing why a decision is made
• Having standards
– Eventually students can develop their own criteria
Dragon’s Den Rubric
(for self-assessment)
Change Criteria
Level 4
Level 1 (or below)
When determining historical
significance using the resulting
in change criterion, student
identifies how an event,
person, or development
resulted in change.
Demonstrates thorough
understanding of content
by giving details that
clearly explain how the
innovation resulted in
change (5 Ws all
addressed)
Demonstrates limited
understanding of content
by giving few details;
unable to explain how the
innovation resulted in
change (doesn’t address
5Ws)
Applies knowledge in a
highly effective manner by
directly applying criteria
(profundity, quantity,
durability) and justifying
the innovation as the most
significant
Applies knowledge with
limited effectiveness either
with no basis for judgment
or personal preference as
the basis for historical
significance
Knowledge
When determining historical
significance using the resulting
in change criterion, student
identifies the degree of impact
of the change (on how many
people, how profoundly, and
for how long).
Application
Learning Skills and Self-Assessment
Organization
Excellent
Needs Improvement
identifies, gathers,
evaluates, and uses
information,
technology,
and resources to
complete tasks
Consistently gathers
information from
reliable
sources and uses
criteria to assess
reliability and
relevance
Accepts all sources
as valid without
investigating their
reliability or
relevance
Make It Fun
• Ms. or Mr. Continuity or Change
• Competitive – crown a winner
• In-role
Ms. or Mr. Middle Ages
Application
Criteria
Level 4
Level 1
Explains how
character / event
relates to change or
continuity using
details and
examples
Clearly explains how
character / event
relates to change or
continuity with
many precise, wellchosen details and
examples
Barely explains how
character / event
relates to change or
continuity with few
details or examples
Idle No More
• Communities, Conflict, and Cooperation: analyse some
significant interactions within and between various
communities in Canada, and between Canada and the
international community, from 1982 to the present, and how
key issues and developments have affected these interactions
(FOCUS ON: Continuity and Change; Historical Perspective)
• E2.1 describe some significant ways in which Canadians have
cooperated and/or come into conflict with each other since
1982 (e.g., the Idle No More movement)
Idle No More Tasks
Identify different historical perspectives in three different types of evidence:
1. video (views on the Indian Act from The Eighth Fire)
•
2.
primary source evidence (Indian Act terminology)
•
3.
Worksheet on how irritating, repressive, and/or absurd aspects of it can
be
E.g., illegitimates, half-breeds, non-treaty Indian, intoxicants
secondary sources (headlines from different newspapers about Idle
No More protests)
–
–
The decent fix for aboriginal rights (Maclean’s, Feb. 1, 2013)
Idle threats aren’t the answer (Toronto Sun, Jan. 16, 2013).
–
–
–
worthwhile movement to gain rights
inconvenient
dangerous
Then,
• Students will apply what they’ve
learned in an outline of a
paragraph (written peer
assessment)
• Finally they will do a unit
culminating activity (assessment of
learning) in which they each have
to create a poster in the style of
the Historical Thinking Project
posters and write an
argumentative paragraph justifying
their choice of image to match the
historical thinking concept they
chose
Success Criteria
Level 4 Descriptors
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Clear
Accurate
Consistent
Precise
Deep, sophisticated
Thorough
Detailed
Interpretation
supported, justified
–
–
–
–
–
–
Complex
Logical
Relevant
Plausible
Persuasive
Analytical vs. descriptive
or summary
– Creative
– Based on criteria
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